BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Rising seniors outfielder Matt Hanson and third baseman Ryan Luke and junior-to-be catcher Mike Roethke from the Moravian College baseball team have continued their strong play from the spring into the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League this summer with the Lehigh Valley Catz, and Hanson's award-winning spring has turned into a selection as an ACBL All-Star.
The trio helped the Greyhounds to a school-record 32 victories, the first national ranking in school history and the top seed in the NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional at PNC Field in Moosic before heading to the wooden bat league for the summer. The Catz are currently 9-16 this summer with 13 games remaining on their schedule. http://www.lvcatz.com/) Hanson will play in the ACBL All-Star Game on Thursday, July 17 at Quakertown's Memorial Park at 7:00 p.m.
Hanson, who earned All-America honors from both the American Baseball Coaches Association and D3baseball.com and was the Landmark Conference Player of the Year, the D3baseball.com Mid-Atlantic Region Player of the Year and the ECAC Division III South Player of the Year, is currently fourth on the Catz' roster with a .373 batting average through games of July 13, and he third with 19 hits in 51 at-bats. Hanson has started all 15 games he has played this summer with 13 starts in right field, one in left field and one at first base. He is second on the Catz squad with 11 stolen bases and 12 runs scored to go along with three doubles, a triple, five RBIs and five walks. Hanson has also struck out just twice in 59 plate appearance to lead the Catz. This is Hanson's second year in the ACBL after seeing action in 17 games last summer with the Trenton Generals after joining the squad midway through the season.
Luke, who was on the Landmark All-Conference First Team, the ECAC Division III South All-Star Second Team and the ABCA All-Region Second Team, is tied for the Catz' team lead in games played, seeing action in 22 of the squad's 25 games. He has started 16 at third base, another four at first base and two as a designated hitter. Luke has a .296 average with 21 hits in 71 at-bats, both second on the squad, and he is also second with 10 RBIs. He has added eight runs scored, three doubles, a triple, five walks and a pair of stolen bases.
Roethke, who was on the Landmark All-Conference First Team, has played in 17 games this summer, starting eight as a designated hitter and seven as a catcher while pinch hitting in his other two appearances. Roethke has six hits in 45 at-bats this season with three runs, three RBIs and seven walks.
The trio continues a Moravian connection with the Lehigh Valley Catz over the last nine years. Senior to be Colin Case and rising junior pitcher Anthony Zaloga played for the Catz last summer. Brendan Close '12 and Robert Solano '14 were on the Catz' pitching staff in 2011 while Chris Morrison '10 pitched for the Catz for three summers from 2007 through 2009. Josh Baltz '08 started 23 of 28 games he played for the Catz in the summer of 2006.
The Catz' next game is a doubleheader versus the Jersey Pilots on Tuesday, July 15 at Upper Hacketts Park in Easton starting at 5:00 p.m. The entire ACBL schedule and links to all of the teams can be found at http://www.acbl-online.com/Default.aspx.