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BASEBALL: PLU's Gates named Northwest Conference Player of the Year
Brock Gates recently finished one of the best careers in the history of Pacific Lutheran University baseball.
The Decatur High School graduate was selected as the Northwest Conference Player of the Year after an impressive 2012 season. The senior first baseman led the Northwest Conference with a .407 batting average and was among the league leaders in both home runs with seven and RBIs with 47.
Gates also scored 43 runs and also swiped eight bases in nine attempts.
He also finished the season with 70 total hits, which surpasses his own PLU baseball single-season record in that category. Gates set the former record of 68 hits during the 2010 season.
Gates is a two-time, first-team All-NWC selection and was one of three Pacific Lutheran players named to the first team. He was joined by sophomore designated hitter Jacob Hoffman (Curtis High School), who was a first-team outfielder in 2011, and by senior outfielder Jaron Iwakami (Liberty), chosen for the first time.
Gates is the first Pacific Lutheran player to earn Player of the Year honors in at least 20 years, and perhaps for several decades beyond that, according to the school. Pacific Lutheran has had three NWC Pitcher of the Year recipients since 2006. Joe DiPietro was so honored in both 2006 and 2007, and Robert Bleecker was chosen in 2009.
The Lutes finished up the season with a 24-16 overall record.
In addition to the impressive 2012 season on the field, Gates has also been recognized for his performance in the classroom.
Gates, a communication major with a 3.55 grade-point average, was named to the Capital One Academic All-District VIII First Team. District VIII encompasses Division III schools from the West Coast all the way back to Iowa, Texas and Louisiana.
Student athletes are nominated and voted on by their school's sports information directors. Gatres advances for possible selection to the Capital One Academic All-America team.