by Christian Bond, PLU Sports Information Student Writer
PARKLAND, Wash. - Sophomore Connor Cantu celebrated senior day with his first home run of the season. As the team looks ahead to the future, Cantu could be a PLU baseball cornerstone.
Cantu hails from Spokane, Washington where he attended Mt. Spokane High School. He spent one year as baseball team captain and made first team All-GSL his junior year. Cantu's high school career was capped with his team finishing third in state his senior year. There is no doubt PLU baseball was excited to have Cantu join the roster.
"Connor is a very talented outfielder," said head coach Nolan Soete. "He has really worked hard to be more consistent this season and his hard work is starting to pay off. I expect great things from Connor for the remainder of his PLU career."
In his first two years with the program, Cantu has played in 69 games, with 63 career hits including 13 doubles, five triples (four this season) and two home runs. The sophomore outfielder has stolen nine bases and drawn 37 walks in his young career. Cantu's combination of speed and power make him a threat in any part of the PLU lineup.
"It has been a great experience being a part of PLU baseball so far," said Cantu. "I couldn't ask for a better group of guys to be around. The make a good family on and off the field. On top of this, it's always nice to be a part of a program with so much success."
Off the field, Cantu is majoring in business marketing at PLU. Cantu's hobbies include playing the ukulele and fishing.
"My favorite part of PLU outside of baseball is the personal education I am receiving along the way," added Cantu. "I love the ability to have professors who truly care about my academic progress as much as I do."
The Lutes dropped a mid-week non-conference match up with cross-town rival Puget Sound 6-9. The Lutes offense started strong scoring three runs in the first on a pair of doubles by Ben Welch and Tyler Thompson and a single by Landon Packard. PLU added two more in the top of the 4th when Drew Oord doubled to bring in Tanner Bogart, followed by a single from Tyler Thompson.
Unfortunately, it was not enough as the Loggers answered with five in the bottom of the 5 when junior transfer Jacob Gleichman gave up two hits after loading the bases. UPS added two more in the bottom of the 6th and never gave up the lead.
ON TAP FOR THE LUTES…
PLU plays its final conference series of the season against Lewis & Clark. A double-header is schedule for Saturday, April 16, with the games scheduled to start at noon and 3 p.m. The series finale takes place Sunday with first pitch at noon. PLU is coming off a weekend conference sweep of Puget Sound and looks to keep the momentum going into the post season.
"It's extremely important because we want to secure a spot in the conference tournament," said Soete. "It's also important because you want to be playing your best baseball at this time of year."