Fink to play basketball, baseball at Augustana

Isaac Fink will play baseball and basketball at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D.

SPRINGFIELD — Isaac Fink weighed all of his collegiate options and he knew he had a big decision to make. In the end, he decided to pick the school he’s most familiar with.

Fink, who will graduate from Springfield in 2019, will continue his athletic career at Augustana University in Sioux Falls. His older brother Alex starred in baseball at Augustana, so Isaac knows the community and campus well.

“That’s what’s so nice, the campus felt like home to me, I’ve been there so many times, I know where everything is,” Fink said. “It’s easy to get around and I love the town of Sioux Falls. I have a lot of great people there that will mentor me throughout the years. It seemed like a perfect fit for me.”

Fink will play both basketball and baseball at Augustana, which won a national championship in baseball this past spring and a national championship in men’s basketball during the 2015-16 season.

The senior-to-be is now focused on football, a sport he last played as a freshman. The best part, for him, is that he no longer has to deal with the calls and texts from colleges who were actively recruiting him .

“This is perfect timing for me, going into this whole recruiting process, I didn’t really care if was Division I or Division II, I just wanted to have a decision made before football season because this is my first year going back out for football,” Fink said. “It’s just a nice feeling to have it done with, you won’t be taking any more calls, texts or anything, you can just focus on your senior year.”

Over the years, Augustana has had its share of Springfield athletes. Alex Fink (a 2011 graduate from Springfield) was a first baseman while Sam Baier, who graduated from Springfield in 2016, was a part of last year’s national championship team.

Other former Springfield athletes that have attended Augustana include 2016 graduate Vishe Rabb (women’s basketball), 2010 graduate Jordan Milbrath, who is now in the Cleveland Indians’ minor league organization, Cole Milbrath (baseball) and Lance Briard (football).

College basketball coaches have long had Fink on their radar. Fink was a starter as an eight-grader for Springfield and he currently has 2,376 career points heading into his senior year. Last year, he teamed up with Tanner Vogel and Decker Scheffler to help lead the Tigers to a 28-2 finish and as a sophomore he helped them to a fourth-place finish in the Class A state tournament. He decided to commit to coach Tom Billeter at Augustana, who has coached the program for 15 years (a 287-166 at Augustana and a 384-216 career record and one national title).

Basketball has always been Fink’s first love when it comes to athletics, but baseball wasn’t too far behind. He was a part of the 2016 Springfield Class A state championship team as a freshman and he remains close to Baier, who will be a junior at Augustana this fall.

“Basketball is my priority, but when I’m pitching, I love pitching almost as much as I like basketball,” Fink said. “If I can do it at the collegiate level, I might as well try. I have a great relationship with their baseball coach [Tim Huber] obviously, my brother played there and Sam Baier plays there. But my main priority is basketball.”

He also considered Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall and North Dakota State University as his final three. Augustana won out in part because he was given the chance to play both sports.