TOWSON, Md. – After winning the program’s first-ever Landmark Conference title on Monday, the Susquehanna baseball team has earned three major awards, announced Wednesday.
Junior Casey Hood (Shrewsbury, Pa. / Susquehannock) has been named the Pitcher of Year, freshman Taylor Luckenbill (Pottsville, Pa. / Nativity BVM) earned the Rookie of the Year and ninth-year head coach Denny Bowers ’00 has been selected as the Coach of the Year.
Hood, who was also named First-Team All-Landmark, finished the regular season with an 8-1 record, including a 5-0 mark in league play. The lefty finished Landmark action with 25 strikeouts and a 2.41 ERA.
Overall, Hood started 11 contests and pitched two complete games, throwing 66.1 innings with 50 strikeouts and only five walks. He allowed just 20 earned runs and limited opponents to a .224 batting average.
Luckenbill also received First-Team All-League recognition after leading the Crusaders with a .378 batting average and hitting .432 in conference play, ranking third in the Landmark.
The right fielder started 39 games and recorded 59 hits, a single-season freshman record for SU. Luckenbill cracked a team-high 10 doubles and drove in 22 runs, third-most for the Crusaders. He had a .455 slugging percentage, a .430 on-base percentage and stole nine bases.
Bowers, along with Matt Slivinski, Barry Fetter ’09, Michael Hogan and Jimmy Gulden, earned his first Coaching Staff of the Year honor, leading the program to a school-record 28 victories and its first playoff appearance since 2011.
SU (28-12) was the No. 2 seed in the postseason with a 13-5 conference mark and the pitching staff boasted a league-low ERA of 2.89 as the Crusaders improved their win total by 14 games from a year ago.
From March 2-29, the Crusaders strung together a 15-game winning streak, best in school history and tying the longest streak in Landmark history.
SU earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament, with the bracket released on Sunday, May 11.