Darryl Washington-Hardy, Joshua Easter, and Alex Edwards are teammates and friends that came down to Saint Augustine’s University with the same goal in mind, to go to school and play ball. These three Chicago natives are apart of the university’s baseball team and have been active since they’ve stepped foot on campus. Being a student-athlete has given them the opportunity to show their talents on and off the field. In the upcoming school year, each of them will be seniors and their experiences playing baseball has opened doors that they’ve never imagined.
Darryl Washington-Hardy has been playing baseball since the young age 6. He grew up watching his older cousins playing for a youth baseball league and soon became very attracted to the game. By the age of 9, Darryl made his first all-star team and at that point he knew that baseball was something that he was passionate about. Darryl went from playing on a youth team to playing for his high school, where him and Joshua were first teammates. His success in high school landed him scholarship money to play for a division one junior college but after two years he decided to come down to Raleigh where he reunited with his two friends. Darryl loves most the bond that him and his teammates created throughout the years of playing. If baseball doesn’t work out in the long run, Darryl is studying a minor in Mass Communications where he plans to be a sports broadcaster. “I’ve become stronger in the sense that I know I can accomplish anything I put my mind to,” said Darryl.
Joshua Easter started his baseball career playing tee ball at Forest Park Little League at the age of 5. “I use to always love going to the games, I have family that play baseball, it was around me all the time,” said Joshua. Once he got to high school he realized that he had a great talent in baseball that others noticed as well. During the summer time he played of all-star and traveling teams where he really began to work his skills. When college was soon approaching, Joshua knew that he wanted to get away from home, and he wanted to still play baseball even after high school. After meeting with Coach Whitaker at an all-star showcase, he soon became interested in Joshua but not by his skills in baseball. Unlike most of his teammates down on a sports scholarship, Joshua was awarded a presidential scholarship by the university for his accomplishments in academics. Being a student-athlete is very valuable to him. His education is his first priority and everything else will fall in place.
Unlike Darryl and Joshua, Alex Edwards was a latecomer to the game of baseball. Around the age of 13 Alex joined his cousin’s baseball academy where he first learned to play the sport. Starting off Alex was no good in baseball. “ I fell in love with it because I was so weak at it at first, I seen other people really good in it, so that challenged me to try to get better,” said Alex. When he got into his sophomore year in high school he realized that his arm was becoming very strong, that’s when he took the position as pitcher on the team and from there it was history. Alex soon made the varsity squad and really built his confidence in the sport. Coming down to St-Aug and playing in college gave him the opportunity to play on the team and study in business. He hopes to one day follow in his cousin’s footsteps and start a baseball academy for young boys in his community. Next season his goal for the team is for his team to not lose more than two games and he will dedicate himself to making sure this happens.
The three of these young-student athletes are surely on the road to success. Whether pro baseball is in their future or not, they all can agree that their love for the sport has brought them thus far. Being in college has given them the opportunity to not only get their education but they also can do what they love at the same time. Next year, they all will be seniors and they look forward to the last season on the field with their team. They also look forward to their last shot at getting a CIAA championship title in their division. “I just need to be able to say I walked away from my baseball career a champion, that’s all I want,” Joshua said.