HERMISTON — If Hermiston baseball coach Kevin Moore could pencil Rustin Edmiston in his lineup at shortstop and pitcher, he would.
The multi-faceted Edmiston signed a letter of intent on Dec. 4 to play at Yakima Valley College in Washington.
“Rustin eats, sleeps and lives baseball,” Moore said. “He plays in the fall, and would play in the winter, if he could.”
Edmiston’s last game at Hermiston was as a sophomore. He was scheduled to start the first game of the 2020 season against La Grande before COVID-19 shut down high school sports.
Despite missing an entire high school season, the right-handed pitcher and infielder played summer ball with the Kennewick Outlaws, and the word got out.
“Two other Outlaw players (Gaven Mattson and Eden Blanco) have signed to go there too,” Edmiston said. “I didn’t get to make a visit because the campus was closed, but I have played (summer ball) there (YVC) before.”
Though Edmiston would like to focus on playing shortstop, the Yaks intend to utilize all of his skills.
“They will have me pitch and play shortstop,” he said “I like the infield better because I can hit. I’m OK either way.”
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Edmiston has come a long way since his sophomore year, according to Moore.
“As a sophomore, he wasn’t developed yet,” Moore said. “He wasn’t strong. He went to the weight room and bam. You have to get the kids to believe in the weight room. The next level will require it.”
College offers have been hard to wrangle with COVID-19 shutting down sports, but Edmiston was determined to play at the next level.
“We heard rumors, then we got shut down for two weeks,” Edmiston said of the first shutdown in March. “Then it happened again. Then we realized the season was gone. I knew I wanted to go on to the next level. I played with the Outlaws, and we got in about nine games in a tournament in Bozeman (Montana). I played a little bit with the Hermiston (Legion) team. I played as many games as I could. I’m hoping we get to play this year, but the way things are going, who knows.”
Edmiston has played baseball since T-ball. Growing up in Hermiston, he played Little League and Legion ball. He has always pitched and played in the infield.
“My dad (Ladd) pitched and played first base for Walla Walla Community College,” Edmiston said. “He has taught me everything I know about the game.”