Colton Eastman, Cal State Fullerton

(Shotgun Spratling)


Eastman’s Return Boosts CSF’s Fortunes

Weekend Spotlight

FULLERTON, Calif. — At Cal State Fullerton’s Goodwin Field on Sunday and Monday, the field produced unique conditions. The wind howled out of the park during the Titans’ games against UC Santa Barbara and Saint Mary’s.

Anything hit hard enough to get above the highest areas of the tempest-blocking stadium seating and press box got a significant shove forward. Nine home runs flew out of the yard, including the first career round trippers for junior Tristan Hildebrandt and freshman Daniel Cope along with the second of junior Brett Rasso’s career.

Scott Hurst hit a pair after the Anemoi seemed to cast down favor. On the first, the wind swung toward right field as Hurst strolled from the on-deck circle. He crushed a two-strike pitch to the top of the right-field screen. His second seemed assuredly headed toward the batting cages down the right field line. Instead, an Angels in the Outfield flight path sent Hurst’s fly clanking off the foul pole. He expected a foul ball. He had barely run down the line while watching it fly. UC Santa Barbara pitcher Ben Brecht looked to the dugout in disbelief. “Wow” was all he could say.

Wind gods and Disney movie effects seemed to set an intriguing storyline and yet, it was a distant second to what happened before any hitter could Magellan a ball into the jet stream.

When righthander Colton Eastman took the mound Sunday, he felt the same nervousness that always seems to come over him as he begins a game. Nothing had changed from his previous starts. It had just been a lengthy delay since his last one.

“I had butterflies like always. Didn’t feel like I was out for two months,” Eastman said. ”Basically didn’t feel like I was gone for that long. When I was back on the mound, it was a familiar scene. It was nice just doing what I did before and we ended up winning.”

It might not have felt like two months because it was actually longer.

The Titans have been without their sophomore ace since Eastman left his start at UNLV with discomfort in his elbow after throwing only two innings on Feb. 25. His early snake eyes in Vegas were the first of 11 weeks without Eastman. Fullerton went 5-5 in the series-opening game during the 10 weeks he missed.

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