By Dennis Glade
Tyler Edmiston has been through a lot in the past four years, but that has only made him a stronger person and even better baseball player.
Edmiston, the starting first basemen for the Washington Freedom Post 120/121 American Legion team is playing out his final games in Southwestern Indiana before taking the next step in his young baseball career. Edmiston will enroll at Southeastern Illinois College in the fall and play for the men’s baseball team.
Edmiston had an outstanding bounce-back season this spring as a senior after missing most of his junior year with an injury to his left elbow.
Washington baseball coach Steve Reed said despite the surgery to his throwing shoulder, Edmiston wasn’t shaken as he came back this season. The southpaw rebounded by hitting .382 with three home runs, 17 RBIs to go with a .511 on-base percentage and .618 slugging percentage. On the mound, Edmiston compiled a 3-3 record with a 5.86 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 28 2-3 innings.
“I would say he (Edmiston) goes about his business with determination and hard work,” Reed said. “He just seems like he has a quiet confidence, that is pretty noticeable. He’s not real vocal, but he’s going to give you all he’s got. He’s definitely a fighter, and that was a great characteristic for us this season.”
Edmiston along with fellow Hatchet teammate Brayden Walls were selected to the Big 8 All-Conference team on their way to leading Washington to a 14-13 record, but they lost in the first round of the sectional to host Jasper.
In the first four games this summer for the Washington Freedom, Edmiston has continued to swing a hot bat for a lineup that has been in-flux with a roster that hasn’t been made whole yet. Edmiston had three hits and all three RBIs in the Freedom 18-3 loss to Princeton Monday night at the Sports Complex.
“I don’t think there is a left hander around that is going to hit for any more power — Edmiston and Brayden Walls hit the ball extremely well from the left side,” said Washington Freedom coach Jeff Truelove.
Reed said he has seen Edmiston take a more balanced approach and that has made a big impact for Edmiston’s results at the plate. Reed explained that the improvements he has made have allowed him to use his strength to hit the ball to all fields by staying back on pitches.
“Coach Reed helped me shorten everything out, and I’ve started to hit the ball better as a result,” Edmiston said.
Edmiston knows he has a lot of work ahead of him with the challenge of playing against higher level competition on a daily basis, but that is something that Reed is confident Edmiston will be able to master, given time and practice.
“College is a whole new ball game,” Reed said. “He’s going to have to hit quality pitching night in and night out. That kid can hit —it’s just going to be a challenge. Half of high school pitchers don’t have great command. It will be a different world.”
Regardless of the challenge, Edmiston feels he is up for the whatever comes his way at the next level.
“I’m wanting to go and keep playing baseball as I get older,” Edmiston said.