Former St. Catharine College hurler, Josh Lueke becomes the first Patriot to wear a Major League Baseball uniform when the 2011 season begins today. Lueke is a member of the Seattle Mariners and will pitch out of their bullpen. He is the first player under Coach Luther Bramblett to make a big-league squad.
While at St. Catharine, Lueke was a 1st Team NJCAA All-American and had a 0.25 ERA in 71 innings with 84 K's in 2006. For his career, he had a 1.01 ERA with 141 K's in 134 innings pitched. He signed with NKU and was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 16th round of the 2007 draft. He was traded to Seattle last year in the Cliff Lee deal.
The collegiate starter was converted to a closer in the professional ranks, rising all the way from single-A ball to the AAA Tacoma Rainers in a single season, combining for a 1.86 ERA and 17 saves in 50 relief appearances across four teams in 2010. Lueke struck out 94 batters in just 63 innings of work.
"I'm so happy for Josh and his family," commented Bramblett. "He has dealt with some adversity throughout his journey, but has worked hard and stayed the course. We're very excited for him and this is great for our program. We are happy to see that we helped him along the way and wish him nothing but great success."