The Lafayette baseball team reached its highest peak this season, taking third place in the Class 4 State Tournament for the best finish in program history. But none of that would have been possible without the impact of senior left-handed Brayden Luikart.
Luikart ends his career as one of the best to ever come out of the Northside, as he takes home All-News-Press NOW Baseball Player of the Year honors.
Luikart did it all for Lafayette this season. At the plate, he led the Irish with an astronomical .589 batting average. He also led the team in hits and doubles. On the mound, Luikart was a perfect 4-0 with a 0.83 earned run average. He notched 95 strikeouts in 48.1 innings pitched, including a 13 strikeout no-hitter in April.
Luikart attributes his stellar senior campaign to intense preparations over the offseason.
“I don’t remember ever working as hard as I did this offseason,” Luikart said. “To see my hard work pay off and to have the year I did, it’s awesome.”
Luikart is one of six seniors that led Lafayette to its best finish in school history.
“It’s crazy to think that no one has ever made it,” Luikart said. “We had a lot of talented guys, but I feel like we molded together better than any Lafayette team I’ve ever seen.”
Next year, Luikart will continue his baseball career at the University of Oklahoma, where he will remain both on the mound and in the outfield.
“Oklahoma was my dream school from day one,” Luikart said. “I know they have a rich tradition down there and a lot of things planned for the future that are gonna benefit us, and I’m excited.”
- Jacob Lang