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Angelo Luna put in the work and broke the St. Laurence record for RBIs in a season

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By Steve Millar
Correspondent

Angelo Luna produced one of the greatest offensive seasons in St. Laurence history last season.

Luna, an outfielder and an Illinois-Springfield recruit, broke the Vikings single-season RBI record with 56. He also finished with the second-best single-season totals in program history for hits (55), runs (50) and doubles (17).

“Now that I look back at it, it’s pretty crazy,” said Luna, who graduated this year. “I broke the RBI record that Matt McCormick had, and he’s one of the best players to ever play at St. Laurence. In the season, I wasn’t trying to think about my stats too much. But now I can sit back and relax and just think, ‘I really did that.’ It’s kind of cool.”

Luna hit .437 with six home runs. All spring, he played with a chip on his shoulder.

“I was really motivated this year,” he said. “The school I’m going to is Division II. I think I’m the type of player who is a good DI guy. With injuries and stuff, I think I didn’t really get the opportunity to show what kind of player I am.

“This year, I really just wanted to show what I could do. I don’t know if people thought I could play as good as I did this year. I just wanted to show them.”

St. Laurence coach Pete Lotus was thrilled to see persistence pay off for Luna, who put himself in position to peak his senior season.

“He’s a guy who consistently put in the work,” Lotus said. “It was great to see it pay off.

“I think the experience of going through everything last year, being able to make it downstate and playing in a couple bigger atmospheres really helped him.”

Luna put together a solid junior season in 2021, hitting .308 with 32 RBIs to help the Vikings finish third in the state in Class 3A.

Going into this year, he knew he had to step it up even more and help carry the offense.

“I was trying to be a leader the whole year and lead by example,” Luna said. “I saw how Kevin McCormick played last year. He was all-state. He wasn’t the flashiest player around, but he always got the job done. I wanted to play like him.

“I’m not disrespecting Kevin, but I knew my tools were a little better than his. So, to see how many hits he got last year, I wanted to do that this year and lead the team.”

Lotus saw Luna get more consistent.

“Angelo’s obviously really talented, but also still learning and growing,” Lotus said. “That was the biggest step I saw him take was knowing how to handle at-bats consistently and understanding how to have a good approach all the time.

“Obviously, he didn’t get a hit every time, but it never dragged on. He knew how to have a good at-bat the next time.”

Looking at his future, Luna is excited for his next step at Illinois-Springfield. He intends to prove that Division I schools made a mistake by passing him over.

“Everything happens for a reason,” Luna said. “I’m just going to keep working hard. I’m so motivated. I just want to get so much better. I have so many people to prove wrong.

“I feel like it’s good that I was overlooked because it’s just given me the motivation to work harder.”

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