Luke Lucchetti, senior and outfielder for the Jewell baseball team, became the first William Jewell College (WJC) Cardinal in history to be named Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Player of the Week for baseball. The Conference announced the award Tuesday, Mar. 31.
“ Being named GLVC Player of the Week for me is about how hard this team works to turn William Jewell Baseball into a winning program. You can’t get too low over a strikeout or too high over a home run. You are always on to the next at-bat or fielding your position. I believe anyone on this team is good enough to be the next player of the week. As far as getting to this point in my career, I would say that it is my passion to play this game. There are countless hours of weightlifting, batting cages, sore muscles and mental preparation. God has gifted me with running speed, and I use that speed with an occasional bunt. I am blessed with tremendously talented teammates, and none of this would be possible without the love and support from my parents,” said Lucchetti.
The senior outfielder bolstered the Cardinals to a 4-2 record during a one-week span, sweeping non-conference opponent Lincoln as well as splitting the series with conference opponent Truman State. During this span, Lucchetti went 10-14 at the plate, a .714 batting average. In the five games he played, he had two hits in each appearance, half of his 10 hits going for extra bases. This also included two home runs, two doubles and a triple. He scored five runs as well as and racked up nine runs batted in (RBIs). The opposing team walked Lucchetti one time and managed to strike him out only once. The senior put up a 1.429 slugging percentage along with netting an on-base percentage of .688 to wrap up his performance.
Luchetti developed a passion for baseball at a very early age.
“When I was 4 years old, I was put in t-ball, and from that point on I couldn’t wait for spring to come so that I could play baseball. I just had a passion to play the game from the first time I played it,” Lucchetti said.
He played for and graduated from Yorkville High School in Yorkville, Ill. However his first sport in high school was not baseball.
“When I was in high school, I played basketball my freshmen and sophomore year. I began playing baseball my junior year of high school, and when the schedules between the two sports conflicted with one another, I decided to quit basketball to focus more on baseball,” Lucchetti said.
A continual role model for the Yorkville native has been his stepfather. The two of them built a connection over the years through baseball, sharing their enthusiasm for the game. Since then, his stepfather has been his mentor and coach.
“I wanted to be the man my stepdad was,” Lucchetti said.
Lucchetti is a junior college transfer from Illinois Central College; he was recruited by Jason Middleton and Mike Stockton.
“Their philosophies of hard work, dedication and pride on what it means to be a William Jewell Cardinal are a few things that stuck out to me I believed in,” Lucchetti said.
Lucchetti made it a point to do some research on William Jewell and learned that the College atheltic teams had been moved up to the NCAA Division II level. After this discovery, he wanted to have the opportunity to be part of this program.
Right now Lucchetti is studying business administration. As for the future, he might possibly want to try out for an independent ball team, but if he decided not to, then he would start looking for a job in the “real world.”
Lucchetti emphasizes that he sees constant improvement as a necessary goal that every player should have.
“My expectations are to never let my team down,” Lucchetti said.
He pointed out that the team as a whole is focused on winning one game at a time.
“Together we are building the traditions and winning pride for William Jewell baseball. In order to keep doing well, we as individuals have to stick to the process improving and succeeding together,” Lucchetti said. “The success we have seen thus far is due to all of the hard work we accomplish in practice and sticking to the process of becoming a great team.”
Lucchetti and the Cardinal men look forward to their next game Saturday, April 11 at 12:00 and 3:00 p.m. at University of Missouri – St. Louis.