Dustin Berrong’s path to NSU baseball
TNE Editor

Dustin Berrong’s path to NSU baseball


Jalen Porter

TNE Writer

Dustin Berrong, Fort Walton Beach senior, has played baseball at NSU since 2015. He has made a variety of accomplishments and plans to pursue to more. He has played pitcher since high school.

Berrong attended Choctawhatchee High School and graduated in 2014. He was born with his foot backwards and one leg longer than the other, but that didn’t stop Berrong from pursuing his dreams.

“My foot has defined me,” said Berrong. “I have always had trouble with certain things. Running is the worst (obstacle). But I believed that it has allowed me to be as mentally tough as possible. I have always had the mindset that no matter how much my foot is hurting, I will not let it hold me back. It has been tough to stay with the pack, but my teammates push me to move forward.”

In his junior year, Berrong helped his team to a 19-10 record and a District 2-6A runner-up finish. He was named by the Northwest Florida Daily News Big School as the Player of the Year. He fanned 47 over 48.2 innings and marked a 3.02 run average. He registered a season-high seven strikeouts against both Niceville and Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.

David Weber, Berrong’s older brother, played baseball at NSU while Berrong was in high school. Instead of signing to NSU after high school, Berrong signed to play at the University of Southern Mississippi. While he was at the University of Southern Mississippi, he managed to make two game appearances, recording two hits and one walk during his time on the pitcher’s mound. He was named to the 2013-14 Conference USA Commissioners Honor Roll and earned Athletic Directors Honor Roll awards during the fall semester. Berrong’s career at USM lasted a year before requesting a transfer due to personal reasons.

“I could give you a million of great things to say about Dustin,” said Jake Hendrick, NSU baseball head coach. “I love him. He’s a stud.  If everyone would mimic his loyalty, commitment, work ethic, and selflessness, we would be unbeatable. I think the world of Dustin.”

After speaking with the coaching staff at NSU, Berrong had a feeling that NSU would be his home. His sophomore year, Berrong appeared in 11 games and started four of them. He struck out 31 batters and on March 20, he allowed one hit along with striking out five batters in the final four innings to win against Emporia State University. On March 29, while playing against Fort Hayes State, he posted a season high 11 strikeouts. During his junior year at NSU, Berrong suffered a preseason injury and did not play for the rest of the season, but was named MIAA Academic Honor Roll.

“Dustin is a great person, first and foremost,” said Parker Kruckenberg, NSU baseball assistant coach. “He is a great teammate and is the type of kid you want to build your program around. His success on the baseball field is no accident. He is a guy who brings it every single day no matter how he’s feeling. He pushes himself in every aspect of his life, which is evident by him beginning his Master’s program this academic year. He embodies what it means to be a student-athlete in the NSU Baseball program.”

Berrong is a three-year letter winner for NSU and have several academic achievements. In 2017, he had a team low 4.4 ERA and was at the top for strikeouts as well. This year, he is the “Friday night guy”, which means he is the best pitcher. He has also recorded a 5-3 record with a low two ERA. Berrong has graduated with his Bachelor’s degree and will be achieving his Master’s degree in business administration while playing baseball at NSU.

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