Lackawanna Pair Named to NJCAA All American Team

Kelani Luke on left and Joey Baran on Right
Kelani Luke on left and Joey Baran on Right

Scranton, PA: The Lackawanna College is honored to announce that two members of its 2018 Baseball Team have been named to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II All-American Team. The Region XIX Division II Player of the Year, Kelani Luke was selected to the First Team as an infielder, while the Region's Pitcher of the Year, Joey Baran, was named to the Second Team.

Luke , a native of St. Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands and graduate of Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, was the Region XIX DII Player of the Year and an All Region XIX first team infielder, after hitting .432 with 9 homers and 55 runs driven in. He had 57 hits in 132 at bats with 19 doubles and 2 triples to go along with his 9 homers. Luke also scored 36 runs and stole 6 bases. His OBA was .486 and his slugging percentage .780. Kelani not only contributed at the plate, he also pitched 9.1 innings in relief earning 2 wins and 2 saves. He is committed to continue his academic and athletic career at Jackson State University.

Baran is a resident of Hazelton, Pennsylvania and a graduate of Hazelton Area. He earned his Second Team honors after a superb year on the mound where he won 6 games while losing 1. His ERA of 1.55 ranked 6th in the nation for DII pitchers. Over 40.2 innings, Baran struck out 52 and only walked 9 while holding opposing batters to a mere batting average against of .201.  Prior to being named a NJCAA DII Second Team All American, Joey was recognized as the Region XIX DII Pitcher of the Year, an All Region XIX First Team pitcher and the Eastern Pennsylvania Athletic Conference DII Player of the Year, . Recently, he was selected in the 22nd round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft by the Milwaukee Brewers with whom he subsequently signed a professional contract.  Prior to signing with the Brewers, Baran had committed Penn State University.

Learning of the duo's selection to the All-American team, former Lackawanna College Baseball Coach, Bruce Thompson said, "Kelani had a tremendous year and was extremely valuable to our team. He came up with big hits all season and drove runners in key situations. Joey was our anchor on the mound while putting together a fantastic season. I am very proud of both of these young men, they worked extremely hard and deserve to be All-Americans."

The last time Lackawanna had two baseball players named to the NJCAA DII All American Team in the same year was 2012. During that season, Chris Kirsch was picked for the First Team, while Scranton native, Tyler Buckley, was named to the Third Team.