Drew Lunde signs to play WSU baseball

November 26, 2013

By Neil Pierson

If KingCo Conference baseball fans are looking for a player that resembles Los Angeles Dodgers star Clayton Kershaw, they might find their match in Skyline High School southpaw Drew Lunde.

Last season, Lunde was the staff ace for Skyline, which won the KingCo Crown Division title and finished with a 17-7 record. His stat line was impressive — a 1.73 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings, and an opponents’ batting average of .138.

It may come as no surprise that Lunde’s big-league role model is Kershaw, a three-time all-star and two-time National League Cy Young Award winner.

Collegiate programs have been taking notice of Lunde’s gifts for a while, and the Skyline senior had competing scholarship offers from programs like Gonzaga, Washington and Oregon State.

But Lunde turned down those offers and signed with Washington State on Nov. 13, the first day of the NCAA’s early signing period for athletes in the class of 2014.

“Wazzu was my first choice,” Lunde said last week while sporting a crimson shirt with a white Cougar head logo, “and when they offered me, I just needed to get to know the coaches and stuff to make sure I was getting myself in a good situation.

“When they offered me (a scholarship), I went over two weeks after, met with the coaches and had dinner with them … and I was hooked,” he added. “It was awesome.”

“Drew is a complete bulldog on the mound,” WSU pitching coach Gregg Swenson said in a news release. “He is a two-sport star who brings his football mentality to the diamond. He pitches with a great feel for the game and has led all his teams to great heights during his prep career.”

While Lunde has turned in some spectacular performances in a Skyline uniform — a complete-game one-hitter with 14 strikeouts against Garfield among them — much of his success is rooted in his work with the Lakeside Recovery American Legion program.

Lunde said he’s been able to work with numerous minor-league players through Lakeside, and he plans to continue workouts over the winter to stay in shape. Playing linebacker for the Spartans football team also has helped.

“I need to get lower body strength and core strength, which is probably what I’d say is one of my weaknesses right now,” he said.

He may have a chance to play immediately for WSU.

“Most of the guys they have right now are supposed to be draft picks,” Lunde said, “so most of the pitching jobs are going to be wide open for people to compete.”

More so than Kershaw, Lunde looks up to his older brother Matt, a sophomore pitcher at Pac-12 Conference rival Washington.

“We’ll see if we can get some playing time in against each other,” Drew said.

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