By Jeremy McDonald
INDEPENDENCE, Ore.– Central-grad Connor Laeng was always the last one to leave for the Central Baseball Club over this summer.
A shoulder impingement over the Spring had sidelined the former Panther baseball player, forcing him to withdraw from playing with the Salem Salamanders this summer. But as he healed up, he slowly came back onto the diamond, donning the Central uniform one more time.
“It was a lot of fun to put the Central Uni(form) back on one more time. It brought back lots of great memories,” said Laeng.
The last time Laeng had donned the Red and White uniform, he was part of the magical run with Central that ended with the Panthers winning the Class 5A State Title game in 2019. There was a short-period of time where Laeng shared the field with fellow 2019-grad in Ruben Cedillo before Cedillo went on to play with the Portland Gherkins late this past summer.
The Summer helped Laeng get up to par getting ready for his new spot for baseball at Ventura College in Southern California. The Pirates were 7-13 in the shortened-2019 season and 2-7 in the Western State-North division as Laeng came off a two-game appearance with Umpqua Community College this past Spring.
“I decided to transfer to Ventura because it felt like the best fit for me at this time to develop and get to the next level while playing in better weather year-round,” said Laeng. “This summer was huge for me to get at bats in live action and have success from both sides of the plate as well as healing up since I had been hurt during the spring.
“Also, it was great to play with the Central guys again and help them out in any way I could.”