Auburn University pitcher Brooks Fuller knows a thing or two about winning a championship from his time at Auburn High. This summer, the rising sophomore added another title to his collection.
Fuller shined while playing with the Santa Barbara Foresters of the California Collegiate League during his break from collegiate baseball. The left-hander pitched in six games for the Foresters, recording a 4-0 record with 10 earned runs, 22 strikeouts and a 3.70 ERA.
Fuller’s efforts helped the Foresters capture the CCL championship.
“It was really fun. It’s a totally different feel out here in pretty much every aspect of life. It was good to get away from Auburn a little and have to figure things out on my own,” Fuller said. “I just learned to trust my stuff and enjoy the game of baseball.
“In summer ball there isn’t a whole lot of pressure to throw a gem or win a championship, so it’s nice to be able to relax a little while continuing to compete every time you step on the mound.”
Fuller’s summer with the Foresters featured consistent play whenever the ball was in his hand.
Fuller earned his first win on June 30, throwing four scoreless innings against Orange County. His win total rose to two on July 7 against San Luis Obispo, when he threw five innings while allowing one run on five hits along with five strikeouts.
Fuller ended the summer session with five shutout innings against Academy, good enough for his fourth win of the campaign. The Foresters won the title via a 6-1 victory over the Healdsburg Prune Packers on July 28.
“It’s pretty cool,” Fuller said about capturing the title. “Winning any type of championship with guys you aren’t familiar with is an impressive feat. Baseball is a fun sport, but when you are winning championships, it’s a hard sport to beat.”
Fuller is no stranger to helping teams win titles. He was a standout starting pitcher for Auburn High in 2018, going 8-2 with a 1.27 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 55.1 innings of work. None of those innings were bigger than the final seven, which came when the lefty shut down Hewitt-Trussville for a 4-1 win in Game 1 of the state title series.
Auburn took Game 2 in a 1-0 victory to give the team its first state title since 2010.
“Brooks' leadership, composure and maturity was just unbelievable for a high school kid. He was such a great and positive leader,” Auburn High coach Matt Cimo said. “When he got on the mound, he was so mature as a pitcher. He knew how to attack hitters, and he could locate really well. I think Brooks coming over and being a quarterback in high school coming into our baseball season helped him become that much better of a leader.”
Fuller translated his successful high school career with a spot at Auburn University. In his true freshman season, Fuller threw 44 innings with eight starts and ended the year with a 2-2 record, 39 hits allowed, 35 walks, 36 strikeouts and a .450 ERA. Opponents who hit against Fuller posted a .239 batting average.
Fuller was part of a Tigers team this spring that made its first trip to the College World Series since 1997. The summer experience out in Santa Barbara was enjoyable, but Fuller made it evident he’s ready to return to the diamond in Auburn.
“I think it’s safe to say everyone around and within the program is excited to build off the success of the past three or four years,” Fuller said. “I know a lot of us are ready for school to start back so we can link back up and continue to build that team chemistry on and off the field.”