Luke Masiuk stands out, signs NLI with Northeastern

Trumbull's Luke Masiuk signs his National Letter of Intent to play Division I baseball at Northeastern University.

Trumbull's Luke Masiuk signs his National Letter of Intent to play Division I baseball at Northeastern University.

Trumbull Athletics / Contributed photo

Luke Masiuk was looking to get eyes on him and his name out there when the then Trumbull High junior baseball player made the drive to Brookline (Mass.) to attend Northeastern University’s Prospect Day in July of 2019.

Northeastern head coach Mike Glavine’s Howlin Huskies had earned consecutive Colonial Athletic Association titles, before finishing third last spring. Glavine, who had taken the 36-21 squad to the NCAA Division I Regionals in 2018, was looking for a diamond in the rough.

“It was one of those days, 95 degrees at least,” Glavine said. “We had a long day out on the field. We put all the guys through the typical stuff, the 60s, the defensive evals and BP, and then played a game.

“Luke stood out, not only from a talent perspective, but he just worked his tail off the entire day. It really stood out to us how tough he was, how hard he played, and he seemed like a perfect fit for us.”

Masiuk signed his National Letter of Intent to play outfield for Glavine on Nov. 11.

“I’m excited to play for Northeastern and coach Glavine,” said Masiuk, who will study business. “It is a great program and I’m looking to play wherever I’m needed.”

“I think he is a corner guy, but we will see,” said Glavine, a Northeastern graduate who played 10 seasons in professional baseball after being drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 22nd round of the 1995 draft. “His arm has gotten stronger, so the old-school part of me says put him in the corner and see if he can hit for power there.

“We have a center fielder here right now, Ben Malgeri, who is plenty talented. They have similar body types (Masiuk is 6-foot-1, 195 pounds). We’ll get Luke in and see how it plays out,” Glavine said.

“The easy thing is the corners, but I’d like to see him run around in center field too, see what kind of jumps he gets and the kind of ground he can cover. His arm strength projects to a corner outfielder. You never know until you get him out there with other college guys.”

Trumbull head coach Phil Pacelli likes the fit.

“Northeastern is getting a hardworking student-athlete and I have no doubt that Luke will be an asset to its baseball program,” Pacelli said. “Luke broke through to the varsity level as a freshman. He did more than hold his own as he became our starting right fielder and spent some time at DH. He has worked very hard to develop into an above average outfielder with outstanding arm strength.”

Masiuk has worked hard on upgrading his defensive skills.

“I wanted to get better defensively from my freshman year on,” Masiuk said. “My bat has carried me pretty well, but I worked hard on conditioning to get faster and stronger.”

Pacelli pointed out that opposing players respect Masiuk’s throwing arm.

“They rarely attempt to take the extra base on him as he has thrown out several baserunners,” Pacelli said. “While Luke’s offensive statistics are impressive, he does things that do not show up in the box score. He is a team leader and sets a good example for the younger players with his work ethic.”

Masiuk said he learned from the best.

“My freshman year, I played with Ben Fero, who is a junior at Stonybrook. He is one of the best pitchers I’ve seen,” Masiuk said. “I played with Chris Brown (UConn) freshman and sophomore year, along with Kevin Bruggeman (Hofstra) who were just a great shortstop and catcher. It was great getting to watch and learn from them.”

Masiuk is looking forward to one more season with Trumbull.

“I’m grateful to play for coach Pacelli, coach (Buddy) Bray and coach (Tim) Tvardzik. I’m happy they were able to give me a shot my freshman year,” Masiuk said. “I’m excited to compete for a title because we have some great players.

“Ray Leonzi, who runs the outfield with me, is going to Fairfield. We have Bryan Kraus (University of Rhode Island) and Andrew Harvey at the top of our rotation. John Bova (infielder New England University) and Jake Gruttadauria (infielder Southern Connecticut State University) are key guys that I’m happy to have played with and continuing to play with.”

Northeastern will be waiting.

“Luke is a talented kid and are excited to have him,” Glavine said. “This year we pretty much have everybody back. We had one pitcher (Sam Jacobsak) sign with the Phillies. Right now, like all teams, we are excited. I believe on paper that we might have the most talented club we’ve had. Luke fits the profile that our program typically thrives with.”

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354