By Lori Lyons, Rougarou Writer
Ethan Brister may be still a youngin’ at 21 years of age, but he’s an old veteran in Rougarou years.
The right-handed pitcher from Paincourtville, La., is spending his third summer with the Baton Rouge Rougarou and loving every minute.
“I really love the whole experience,” Brister said. “I love the culture that the Texas Collegiate League puts out, how they advertise a bunch of stuff. It’s just fun summer ball. It’s not like regular old summer ball. It’s definitely fun to play the game I love.”
Brister’s journey to the Rougarou has been rather winding, taking him from Assumption High School, where he was a four-year letterman to, first, Nunez Community College in Chalmette, then to Galveston Community College. As a White Cap he appeared in 12 games earning two wins in two starts and two saves with an earned run average of 7.50 with 19 strikeouts. He will transfer in the fall to East Texas Baptist University, which is coming off a successful season which ended with a third place finish at the Division III World Series.
But now he is a part of a rather large Rougarou pitching staff which spend a lot of time travelling, a lot of time waiting in the bullpen for his name to be called, and a little time pitching.
As a short reliever, Brister has appeared in 10 games this season, pitching 13 2-3 innings and compiling an ERA of 0.65 with 12 strikeouts. Most notably, he was part of the foursome that threw a combined no-hitter in a 12-0 victory over the Victoria Generals on June 7, striking out three in his two innings of work.
“I really didn’t notice that we had a no-hitter until after I got out of the game,” Brister said. “I was kind of like, ‘Oh wow. We have a no-hitter going.’ That was fun.”
Brister said the travel is tough (even though he loves Texas), and the down time is too, but his coaches say he’s always ready to jump in when needed.
“He is extremely flexible for the team,” said Rougarou pitching coach Sean Teague. “He has been asked to perform in different roles on the mound at different times and has not hesitated, has not batted an eye or even asked why. It’s ‘Coach. Whatever you need. I will do whatever you need.’ His flexibility and willingness to do all or more has been a tremendous blessing to this team.”
As a third-year player, he also has taken on a leadership role with some of the younger players.
“He has a quiet leadership,” Teague said. “He leads by example, quietly, and just his personality and always being there and willing to do whatever we need. That’s a leadership quality that’s not necessarily rah-rah or in your face. It’s one that goes noticed, certainly by coaches. He’s a veteran, but he’s not an old dog not willing to learn new tricks.”
When he’s not killing time in the bullpen (or on a bus), Brister enjoys fishing and hunting and “running the cane fields” back home. He also is a fan of his sister, Hannah, who was a member of the Northwestern State volleyball team then transferred to the LSU beach volleyball squad.
All this athletic talent came naturally from dad, Shane, who played baseball at Southeastern, and mom Scottie (Daigle), who played volleyball at Southeastern and is a volleyball coach at Assumption High School.
Brister said he’s just trying to get better as a pitcher and learn how to handle certain situations.
“If I’m put in a situation in a game where I need to get out of it or if I’m struggling a little bit and I can push through it,” he said. “Other than that, I’m just trying to have fun.”