Baseball is ingrained in Luke Hansen’s family history. In addition to the sport being an important part of his past and present, he wants it in his future.
Hansen has high aspirations. He would like to play professional baseball one day. “That’s my end goal,” he said.
In the interim, the Southold High School senior has taken a step in that direction with the flourish of some pen strokes. Last week Hansen signed a national letter of intent to play for Sacred Heart University. He had verbally committed to the Fairfield, Conn., school in July.
“It felt good to finally wrap it up and make it official,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about anything else. I know where I’m going, so that’s good.”
Sacred Heart, an NCAA Division I team, went 23-36 last season.
Hansen said he had weighed his options carefully as he tried to figure out which college would be the best fit for him. He also considered Rhode Island, James Madison, Boston College and Stony Brook.
What tipped the scales in Sacred Heart’s favor?
“As a freshman, I wanted to play right away,” he said. “I wanted to make sure I got a good shot to play.”
Hansen, a pitcher who also plays in the outfield, was an All-County player last season. During the regular season, he posted a 7-0 record with a miniscule 0.33 ERA. Over 42 1/3 innings, he allowed only 12 hits, striking out 87. Offensively, he had a .315 batting average with 16 RBIs.
Hansen has a number of factors in his favor as a pitcher. For one thing, his height. He is 6-3, 165 pounds. For another, he is a lefthanded pitcher, which adds to his value.
Hansen’s fastball, which he said was timed at 88 mph the last game of last season, is his most effective, but he also throws a circle changeup and a curveball.
“I’m very excited for him,” Southold coach Mike Carver said. “He’s obviously a very talented pitcher. He’s got everything going for him. He’s got the height. He’s got the lefty. The fastball explodes out of his hand. Obviously, he’s been getting better and better every year I’ve seen him play.”
Baseball is very much a family affair for the Hansens. Luke’s father, Brian, is a former coach of the North Fork Ospreys of the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League. His older brothers, Matt (SUNY/Cobleskill) and Shaun (SUNY/New Paltz), both played in college.
How important is baseball to Luke Hansen?
“I wouldn’t say it’s everything, but I love it and this is what I want to do, let’s put it that way,” he said. “This is what I want to do with my life.”
Photo caption: Southold senior Luke Hansen has signed a national letter of intent to play for Sacred Heart University. (Credit: Garret Meade, file)