Cherokee Trail Cougars' Conner Nantkes verbally committed to Washington State University to play baseball and be a little closer to his family after his senior season.
Nantkes announced his commitment over Twitter on Wednesday afternoon:
Excited to announce my verbal commitment to further my education and baseball dreams at Washington State University! pic.twitter.com/gZoBOEFoyC— Conner Nantkes (@Cnantkes7) June 29, 2016
The up-coming senior has been living with his grandparents since last winter after his family moved to Seattle, Washington, to play his junior season with the Cougars and it paid off.
Part of the reason Nantkes decided to commit to WSU was to be closer to his family. The university is about four and a half hours from Seattle so it hit the sweet spot of being close yet also far enough for an independent college experience.
Nantkes said, "I spoke with other colleges but they [Washington State baseball coaches] offered to let me hit and pitch, while the others just offered me to pitch."
He spoke with Air Force, Missouri, and Colorado Mesa, but Washington State -- who he's been in contact with since his sophomore year -- was offering more.
"I'm really looking forward to their new coaching staff and winning a PAC-12 championship," said Nantkes.
Still deciding whether to stay in Colorado for his senior season, he said he's leaning toward sticking with CT for his final high school season.
"This season I definitely want to put on some weight," Nantkes told 9NEWS, "especially since I won't play football which I had done since freshman year."
The 6-foot-2-inch, 180lb left-handed pitcher will remain a Cougar when he joins WSU in the Fall of 2017.
Batter stats: 27 games, .449 ERA, 15 R, 40 H, 22 RBI
Pitching stats: 10 appearances, 56.1 IP, 1.62 ERA, 7-2 record, 37 H against, 24 R against, 51 K
Cherokee Trail won their first ever 5A baseball state championship -- second overall -- against Rocky Mountain this last spring with the help of great pitching from Nantkes, Jerome Bohannan, Keven MacKintosh.
Check out the full 2017 early college commitments list here.