PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (EYT/D9) – After a standout four-year career with the Penn State Behrend baseball program from 2007 to 2010, it was time for 2006 Punxsutawney Area High School graduate Dustin Dubensky to take his place in the Behrend Athletics Hall of Fame as a member of the induction class of 2021.
(Photo courtesy of Penn State Behrend Athletics)
The induction comes 11 years after his playing days concluded with the Lions, but the athletic department and the baseball program has not forgotten what the Jefferson County product accomplished in his time as a Lion.
Dubensky helped the Lions win three consecutive AMCC crowns from 2008 to 2010 and also qualify for the NCAA Tournament as a result. He was also a three-time All-AMCC performer and earned All-Region, Scholar All-American, and the Leadership/Scholarship Award in his senior season at Behrend.
The 2010 season saw him set the program record with 68 RBIs to go with 64 hits. He finished his career with 55 doubles, which is second all-time in Behrend baseball history. The former Chuck standout also is fifth in Behrend history with 155 RBIs and is 10th in career hits with 185.
This success came after a standout career with the Punxsutawney baseball program from 2003 to 2006 that helped to bring three District 9 titles home to Punxsy in 2004, 2005, and 2006. The 2004 Chucks’ squad began a streak of 13 straight District 9 titles in baseball.
Dubensky graduated in 2006 and still is among the program’s all-time leaders in various offensive categories, including fifth in hits, 10th in batting average, tied for 10th in doubles, third in home runs, third in RBIs, fifth in runs scored, and fourth in walks. He was also a two-time Team MVP in 2005 and 2006, is tied for third with home runs in a single season (6), and is the single-season RBI leader with 34 in 2006.
“For me, the personal records are not anything unless we won while doing it,” Dubensky said. “Luckily for me, the teams I was a part of at Behrend helped to bring a few more AMCC titles to a program that only had a couple before us. I was fortunate to play with a load of really talented players both in high school and college who all really wanted to win also. It is all pretty cool to look back on.”
In the classroom, Dubensky majored in Plastics Engineering Technology (PLET) at one of the nation’s top programs. Going to Erie for his college experience allowed him to play baseball and helped him to land an opportunity to work for John Deere for the first five years of his engineering career.
Initially beginning as an intern, the Jefferson County native had roles in design engineering and strategic sourcing for John Deere before moving on to roles with Elliott Group, Ebara Corporation, Philips Sleep and Respiratory Care, and now at Smith and Nephew as an NPI Core Team Lead.
“Behrend set me up so well and I have been fortunate to have the opportunities in this space in my career,” Dubensky said. “Going to school there has afforded me the opportunity to have a nice career, start a family, and meet a lot of great people along the way.”
Playing baseball at Behrend allowed him to play for longtime Penn State Behrend baseball coach Paul Benim, who Dubensky said put the teams he was a part of in a terrific position to succeed.
“He is one of the most strategic baseball minds I have ever seen and his foresight and perspective is impressive,” Dubensky said. “He helped bring together a special group and deserves a lot of credit.”
Dubensky also gave special acknowledgment to his parents, Becky and Lou, and his sister, Morgan (Dubensky) Nelson, for always being there to support him in his journey from Little League all the way to college ball.
He also said his high school coaches, Paul Hetrick and Jason Jacobson, deserve recognition for his success and for his development as a baseball player during his high school days. Additionally, he credits Doug Mesoraco for being a great coach during his upbringing in Punxsy and also as someone who has been and still remains one of the most dedicated coaches in the town.
“Those three were all really dedicated and they all love the game,” Dubensky said. “I think that and a lot of guys year after year wanting to take baseball seriously were the reason the program was able to win 13 D9 titles in a row. The small-town atmosphere and the community buying into baseball being important along with the life lessons the game can teach is another thing I believe has helped me become who I am today.”
While he’s not active today in baseball, Dubensky has made an impact on the game with the game impacting him even more. He is now a Penn State Behrend Hall of Famer and remains one of the top baseball players ever to suit up for both the Chucks and the Lions in their storied histories.