AUSTIN (KXAN) — Brannon Easterling describes himself as everyone’s best friend. The tall righty would be especially popular with listless relief pitchers.
The senior has finished all ten of his starts this season. Along with the complete games, he has a 0.88 ERA and has helped lead St. Edward’s to a no. 11 Division II national ranking.
“I say, ‘guys, don’t even worry about warming up, I got this,” Easterling says with a laugh of his running joke with the Hilltoppers’ relievers.
Pitcher Cody Ellerbee has heard the jokes but also sees a different side of Easterling when he takes the mound.
“He’s got the bulldog mentality that whenever I go out there I’m going to finish the game, I don’t care if I have to throw 12 innings, I don’t care if I have to throw 150 pitches, I’m going to do what it takes to get the job done,” he said.
Easterling has only failed to go wire-to-wire in two starts in his two seasons at St. Edward’s. Once was his first start after transferring from Texas Tech, the other came in last year’s regional. Easterling told coach Rob Penders after eight innings and with his team leading that he would sit, contingent on Penders promise to start him three days later in the championship.
“Sure enough that’s what happened,” Penders recalled, “three days later he pitched a complete game in the final, it was very impressive.”
Easterling won the Josh Willingham Award given to the MVP of Division II and was named to the Golden Spikes Award pre-season watch list. Penders said scouts from Major League teams regularly watch him pitch.
But before Easterling turns his attention to the draft, he wants to once more finish what he’s started.
“Definitely that’s in the back of my mind but as of right now I’m thinking lets go win a conference tournament, regional tournament and I really want to go win a world series,” he said.