Most college students spend the summer sleeping in, hanging out with friends and enjoying their “down time” before the start of the new fall term.
Not Ross Easterling.
Easterling, a Logan High School graduate and senior member of the University of Charleston baseball team, is busy playing ball.
Easterling has been called up to play in an elite summer baseball league for college players — the Coastal Plain League — after he hit .352 with the Morganton (N.C.) Aggies summer team of the Southern Collegiate Baseball League.
Easterling was set to make his debut with the Fayetteville (N.C.) SwampDogs this week.
The SwampDogs were named as the 2007 and 2011 Coastal Plain League Organization of the Year. For the second time in franchise history, the SwampDogs were recognized as the premier organization in one of the top summer collegiate leagues in the nation.
The SwampDogs are a member of the Coastal Plain League, entering their 11th season in the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 15th season, the Coastal Plain League features 15 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
The CPL gives college players a chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts.
Furthermore, the CPL has had more than 930 alums drafted and 45 alums make their major league debut thus far.
“He’s real excited about it and he’s excited to play,” said S.I. Easterling, Ross Easterling’s dad. “This is a big deal. The Coastal Plain League has had more than 900 players sign pro contracts. Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers is one of the players who has played in this league.”
Many of the Fayetteville and CPL players are from such powerhouse Division I teams as South Carolina, Alabama, LSU and also squads from the ACC.
Easterling, who plays shortstop and wears No. 1 at UC, has one year left with the Division II Charleston Golden Eagles.
Last season, Easterling was seventh on the team at UC with a .299 batting average. He started 45 games and had two home runs with 20 RBI. Easterling rapped out three doubles and a triple and was 46-for-154 at the plate with only 11 strikeouts. Easterling was also a threat on the basepaths as he was 7-for-11 in basestealing.
Charleston had a successful 2012 season as the Golden Eagles were 28-23 overall and 19-14 in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.