Former Superior High School standout pitcher Justin Reinkall has committed to continue his education and baseball career at Eastern Michigan University.
The Division 1 school is located in Ypsilanti, Mich., and is a member of the Mid-American Conference.
Reinkall, the 2017 Superior Telegram All-Area Player of the Year, spent the past two seasons pitching for the Southeast Community College Storm in Beatrice, Neb.
“Ever since high school, I’ve wanted to play Division 1 baseball and now it’s a dream come true,” Reinkall said. “I want to thank the coaches at Eastern Michigan for giving me this opportunity and Southeast coaches Dion and Tyson Parks for helping me get to the next level.
“I also have to thank everyone that helped me get where I am today, especially my parents (Dian and Terry Reinkall).”
This past season, the right-hander was 8-3 in 14 appearances with a 4.30 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 58.2 innings. In his first year at SCC, Reinkall was 2-3 with a 4.44 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 57 innings.
“Justin is an extreme competitor, a great teammate, and an even better person,” SCC Associate Head Coach Tyson Parks said. “He was always working at his game, he gives his best effort daily, and pushes others to be at their best every day.
“He was a leader and a great asset for our program and we will certainly miss him here at SCC. We couldn’t be prouder or happier for him than we are.”
At Eastern Michigan, Reinkall will be playing for head coach Eric Roof and pitching coach A.J. Achter, who spent the last eight years in professional baseball, including two seasons with the Minnesota Twins (2014-15) and Los Angeles Angels (2016).
Most recently, Achter was in the minor league system of the Detroit Tigers during the 2017 season. In his three-year MLB career he went 2-1 with a 3.92 ERA in 62.0 innings, while striking out 33.
“We are thrilled to add Justin to our program,” Achter said. “We are excited to add a guy with his makeup and pitchability to our pitching staff. We love the fact that he is a competitor and fills up the strike zone. We expect him to have an immediate impact on the mound and he should see some big innings this upcoming spring.”
Achter also noted that Reinkall attended a camp at EMU when he was in high school.
“I visited several other schools, but I felt Eastern Michigan was the best fit for me,” Reinkall said.
According to the Spartan record book, dating back to 2000, Reinkall is the leader in single-season pitching wins (7), one ahead of Grant Rindal (2012), Tim Bouvine (2003) and Keith Ritsche (2003), all with six wins apiece.
Reinkall is also tied for second place in strikeouts in a single season with 53, and he ranks within the top five in five other pitching categories.
“My freshman year (at SHS), we went and sat in the classroom and I saw all the records,” Reinkall said. “I was like, ‘I want to get up here on a couple of them at least.’ … That was just my goal.”
Reinkall finished his senior year at SHS with a 7-1 record and 1.19 ERA over 47 innings. He held opponents to a .172 batting average while allowing only 1.64 walks per game with a .894 WHIP.