Shasta College’s Easton Waterman is joined by his Knights coaches after signing his letter of intent Monday to play baseball at Point Loma University in San Diego. (Photo by Aaron Williams / Shasta County Sports)
In the end, Easton Waterman’s decision had less to do with the beautiful Point Loma University campus than with the feel he got from the Sea Lions’ baseball coaching staff.
Make no mistake, Carroll Land Field has an impressively gorgeous view overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the campus is just south of downtown San Diego. But Waterman said growing up playing for his father in Little League, at Enterprise and at Shasta College made him seek out a similar situation as he transitioned to a four-year university.
“The location speaks for itself, being in San Diego, right on the beach,” Waterman said after signing his letter of intent in front of a few dozen family and friends in the Shasta College gym foyer. “Growing up and playing here, it’s always been family oriented and I saw a mirror image at Point Loma. As soon as I stepped on campus and talked to the coaches, I knew that’s where I wanted to be. There wasn’t a thing that I didn’t love about it.”
This past season, Waterman hit .270 with a .474 on-base percentage. He pounded out 34 hits, including seven doubles and two home runs. Defensively, he sported a .959 fielding percentage and threw out five of 17 steal attempts as the Knights’ everyday catcher – a position he’ll battle for at Point Loma.
“It’s been a blessing these past two years,” he said. “Growing up and being able to play for my dad (John Waterman) and getting to play with friends I’ve grown up with have been special. I love playing here. I grew up around the program with my dad coaching here and coach Rupe (Brad Rupert), who I’ve known for a long time. It’s made making this decision much easier.”
A three-sport athlete at Enterprise, Waterman’s batted .303 in his three-year varsity career with the Hornets. He hit .429 as a senior and was part of a Hornet resurgence – along with others such as Daniel Duarte, Will Asnicar and Kyle Gilbreath – as the east siders went 22-10-1.
Waterman said he had offers to play at four-year universities out of high school, but the fit wasn’t right.
“I had a couple … but none that I felt would be a great fit for me. I was looking for a lot of the values that have been instilled in me growing up and I just didn’t find that right fit,” he said. “I knew it wouldn’t be right to go (to a four-year university) out of high school just to go. I decided to go the junior college route and I think that it’s a great option. It allows you two years to mature physically and mentally and learn about the game to prepare you for a four-year experience.”
Point Loma was 32-21 this season and fell in the Division II playoffs to UC San Diego. The Sea Lions have four catchers on their roster, with three slated to return next season.
“I’m going down as a primary catcher, but if something else is available I’m going to do what I can to get on the field,” Waterman said.
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