Four Mountain Hawks Earn Preseason All-League Honors; Rettig and Rother Garner Major Awards
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – With just over two weeks until the Mountain Hawks open the 2023 season, the Lehigh baseball team has been picked to finish third in the Patriot League preseason poll with four Mountain Hawks named to the All-Patriot League Team. Fifth-year left-handed pitcher Luke Rettig was selected as the Patriot League Preseason Pitcher of the Year and fifth-year outfielder Casey Rother was named Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year.
Along with Rettig and Rother, junior second baseman Riley Davis and sophomore catcher Justin Butler were all named to the All-Patriot League Team.
“It’s an honor to have four players named to the preseason all-league team,” stated the Peter E. Bennett ’63 Head Baseball Coach Sean Leary. “It demonstrates the respect our program has built from its peers.”
Rettig is a two-time All-Patriot League selection and garnered first-team accolades in 2022. He led Patriot League starting pitchers with an ERA of 2.40 while tying for the lead in wins with eight in his 13 starts. The southpaw struck out 71 batters in 71.1 innings of work, threw two complete games, and held his opponents to a .233 batting average.
“Luke (Rettig) is an established front-line arm in the Patriot League and having him lead our rotation gives our team the confidence that we can compete with the other elite arms in the league,” said Leary. “Luke’s experience in big games and the playoffs will the talented younger arms in our rotation.”
A two-time Patriot League Player of the Year and a two-time first team all-league honoree, Rother returns to the Mountain Hawks lineup after starting in all 50 games for the Brown and White a season ago. Last season he led the League in six offensive categories, including batting average (.371), slugging percentage (.613), hits (72), doubles (18), total bases (119) and RBIs (48), while finishing second with nine home runs. Not only did he produce at the plate, but Rother also made nine relief appearances on the mound, compiling a 1.32 ERA with two saves in 13.2 innings pitched.
“Casey (Rother) is a two-time MVP, so naturally we are really excited to have him back to lead our offense this spring,” noted Leary. “Casey’s presence in our lineup is impactful but, he knows and believes that his teammates’ will be the key to his and our team’s success this spring.”
Both Butler and Davis have earned preseason all-league honors for the first time in their careers. Butler started and appeared in 22 games and produced a .300 batting average to go with 20 RBIs, eight doubles and seven home runs. Defensively, Butler was credited with 47 putouts and seven assists. Davis finished his sophomore campaign hitting .298 on the season while starting in 44 of the 45 games he played in. He recorded 45 hits, 13 doubles, a triple and two home runs for 22 RBIs. Davis made 117 assists and 56 putouts in the field, along with 19 double plays.
Leary concluded, “The team has a singular focus and we’ll need this group and many others to achieve our objectives.”
Lehigh kicks off the 2023 season with a three-game series on the road in Florida at Bethune-Cookman Feb. 17-19.
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2023 Patriot League Baseball Preseason Poll
1. Army West Point, 49, (9 first-place votes)
2.Bucknell, 40, (2)
3. Lehigh, 37, (1)
4th Navy, 25th
5.Holy Cross, 19
6. Lafayette, 10
2023 Patriot League Baseball Preseason Major Awards
Preseason Player of the Year: Casey Rother, Lehigh, 5th., OF/RP
Preseason Pitcher of the Year: Luke Rettig, Lehigh, 5th., LHP
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Kevin Dubrule, Army West Point, Sr., SS
2023 Preseason All-Patriot League Baseball Team*
SP: Luke Rettig, Lehigh, 5th
SP: Will Greer, Bucknell, Sr.
RP: Luke Fox, Holy Cross, Sr.
C: Derek Berg, Army West Point, Jr.
C: Justin Butler, Lehigh, So.
1B: Ross Friedrick, Army West Point, Sr.
2B: Riley Davis, Lehigh, Jr.
SS: Kevin Dubrule, Army West Point, Sr.
3B: Sam Ruta, Army West Point, Jr.
OV: Grant Voytovich, Bucknell, Jr.
OV: Pete Ciuffreda, Lafayette, Sr.
OV: Casey Rother, Lehigh, 5th
At-Large: Sean Scanlon, Holy Cross, So.
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