c/o Max Forstein

c/o Max Forstein

In Play(er) of the Week, our goal is to highlight outstanding athletes or moments from games that deserve extra attention. 

Luke LaSaracina ’25, a double major in economics and psychology, is a right fielder for the Wesleyan baseball team who has proven himself integral to the Cardinals’ offense and defense, year in and year out. Over his three-year career, LaSaracina has been the definition of consistency and success, as he has played in 92 of 94 total games and posted higher than a .300 batting average each year. On Saturday, April 6, LaSaracina joined an exclusive club as he notched his 100th career hit with an RBI single that drove in the final run of a 13–0 blowout against Williams. He became only the 55th Cardinal to hit this mark in records dating back to 1865. LaSaracina is having his best year yet with a .338 batting average and a 1.019 OPS, and he has helped lead the Cardinals to an 18–6 record on the season so far. The Argus recently sat down with LaSaracina to talk about his milestone and his baseball career at Wesleyan.

The Argus: How did you first get into playing baseball?

Luke LaSaracina: Definitely with my dad. Just getting into T-ball and then loving T-ball from there. I picked up a bat as soon as I could probably walk, and then progressively went on to Little League, high school, and then college, and I’m glad to have gotten that opportunity to keep playing.

A: Do you have any early baseball memories that stand out as a time when you really fell in love with the game?

LL: It’s always been something that I’ve loved. In Little League we have the All Stars, so in summer, you collect the top guys and you go and face other towns. We didn’t make the Little League World Series, but we got pretty far in Connecticut. I think we came in third when I was 12 years old. Just playing baseball with your best friends from home and competing against other towns.

A: Who was your favorite player as a kid—maybe someone you tried to emulate on the field?

LL: I would say two guys. My favorite player was always Derek Jeter, [but] the guy who I would try to emulate was probably Robinson Canó, who was second baseman on the Yankees for some time. He was just silky smooth, super awesome, and there was something about his swing that I really liked. 

A: When did you first start thinking about playing baseball in college?

LL: It was always a dream to play in college, but sophomore year I started to do showcases and camps and stuff to try to get exposure to other schools. AAU [Amateur Athletic Union] baseball is big with getting you in front of schools. It [then] became more real, junior and senior year.

A: How did you know that Wes was the right place to continue your baseball career?

LL: I got the opportunity to do an overnight stay my senior year. I came to the Wesleyan-Tufts football game—the night game here—and we ended up winning in overtime. It was an awesome night socially on campus, got to meet a bunch of the baseball guys, bunch of the football guys. And ultimately I was like, “This is where I want to be.” It being a great academic school as well was just another plus to everything. Just trying to get the best education I can and continue playing sports I love.

A: What has your experience as a student-athlete been like so far, both baseball-wise and community-wise?

LL: It’s been great. Getting a good education while also being able to balance sports as well, [and] being able to get that time management skill, is gonna be huge for after school. Professors are good about it. Coaches are good about it. It’s been everything I could ask for, if not more.

A: With you being part of both the baseball and football teams, how do those communities make your time at Wes better and support you?

LL: It’s awesome to have basically two huge sets of friend groups coming into school. Coming into fall, you automatically have a friend group with football, and then to be able to establish another relationship with another team, I think was awesome. You get to meet many different types of people from different types of backgrounds, which is super cool.

A: Do you have a favorite memory from your time on Wes baseball so far?

LL: My freshman year, winning the Little Three outright was pretty cool. We’ve won the Little Three my freshman year, and now my junior year. Obviously, any chance you get to do that is pretty special. Freshman year, seeing how much it meant to everybody and then continuing to build on that in the next few years.

A: To pivot to this season, what was your mentality like in the off-season preparing to come back for your junior year?

LL: I knew we had a ton of guys coming back who were key contributors, so I knew we were gonna be a top team in the NESCAC and honestly could give a run against anybody in the entire country. I think we have the guys to do it, the guys to win the NESCAC, the guys to make a run into NCAAs, so the mentality was just to get myself to the best position I can to be able to help our team, just get to where we know we can be.

A: Is there any specific thing that the team really worked on or emphasized in the offseason?

LL: I think baseball’s [very much a] team sport, but it’s also very individualized. So everybody, after being disappointed last year, being a one seed and losing in the first round—I think everybody ultimately figured out what they had to do personally to help out the team. And it’s working right now. 

A: How did it feel to start out the season hot and really continue to play well, as you guys set out to?

LL: Great. It felt like all our hard work was coming to fruition, and we were getting the results we wanted and the results we knew we could get, especially this year. It felt amazing. And [I hope] to continue to build off of that, build off of what we felt winning all those games and continue to bring that into NESCAC play.

A: You got your 100th career hit this season, joining a short list of Cardinals to do this in 160 years of baseball at Wes. What does this kind of accomplishment mean to you?

LL: It’s a pretty cool thing to be a part of. Obviously not many people have done it. It’s something that’s just showing a little bit of hard work, but I also want to keep building off of that [and] continue to do everything I can to help our team win games. 

A: In any sport, a milestone like that is a testament to your consistency and availability, and in your case you’ve only missed two games in your whole career at Wes. Why is showing up for your team in baseball or any sport so important?

LL: Being healthy is huge, and just being a guy that your teammates can rely on, and having trust. Having your teammates trust you to be in the lineup consistently in as many ways as you can. Whether that be offensively or defensively, just being out there. That’s really an important value in playing any sport.

A: So now to pivot to the rest of the season, what makes you excited about your ability to make the playoffs and to just get out there and keep playing?

LL: Just knowing how good we are, what we can do, and our potential. I think that should be exciting for everybody on our team, that we know we can compete with anybody in our league. And we can go out and win a NESCAC Championship, which we haven’t done in quite some time—maybe like 2015 or ’16. So just knowing that we have the guys to do it, and we have the team camaraderie around it, it’s very possible.

A: So final question. After you’ve been here for a few years, is there any advice that you would tell yourself two years ago when you were just coming in as a freshman?

LL: I would say establish a role, figure out what you can do to help out the team in any way possible, whether that be playing, starting, whether that be getting a pinch hit, pinch running, or being a guy on the bench who’s bringing the energy at all times. Just figuring out your role and understanding that every person matters, and every person contributes in every way possible. Work hard and be a good teammate.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. 

Ethan Lee can be reached at ejlee@wesleyan.edu