KELSEY LITTLETON; Guest Writer: littlekn@plu.edu

Pacific Lutheran University’s baseball team has earned a spot at the NCAA Division III Regional Tournament. The Lutes ended up winning all three of their games at the Northwest Conference Tournament two weeks ago in Spokane, Wash., two against Whitworth University (7-3, 6-5) and the other against George Fox University (13-6). Those three wins secured PLU their spot at the Regional Tournament on Wednesday, May 18.

The team doesn’t know where they are going and who they are playing yet, but they will most likely go to the West Regional Tournament in Spokane, Wash. Five other teams will be accompanying PLU to Regionals in the middle of May. If the Lutes win Regionals, they will head to Appleton, Wis. for the NCAA DIII World Series during Memorial Day weekend. Second baseman Landon Packard, junior, is one of the lucky baseball players who will play in the Regional Tournament during dead week.

“It was a goal of ours at the beginning of the season, to win the conference tournament, then get into a regional,” Packard said.

Besides making it to the Regional Tournament, the PLU baseball team had seven players receive All-Northwest Conference recognition on April 26. Pitchers Garrett Brown, senior and Cory Nelson, senior, were named All-NWC First Team. First baseman/left fielder Drew Oord, senior, third baseman Tyler Thompson, senior, and outfielder Brett Johnson, senior, were named All-NWC Second Team. First baseman/pitcher Cole Johnson, junior, and Packard received honorable mentions.

Head coach Nolan Soete said that the baseball team has improved a lot and has had a successful year.

“We are solid offensively and we play good defense,” Soete said. “This team has worked hard all year, and they have improved a great amount throughout the season,” Packard said. “This is what we play for. We’ve been preparing all year for this. We just need to go out and play hard and the results will take care of itself.”

Packard said he isn’t nervous about going to regionals.

“Our offense has peaked at the right time. We are scoring lots of runs right now, despite the struggles that we had at the beginning of the year,” Packard said. “We know that we need to go out and play the game against the game. If we do that then we will be just fine.”

What’s next for the baseball team?

“We will prepare these next two weeks and be ready to go when May 18 comes around,” Packard said.

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