MITCHELL, S.D. – Michael Lukkason put together the best season of his four-year career for the Dakota Wesleyan University baseball team in 2013, but the senior shortstop saved his best performance for the last week of the regular season.
Lukkason, an East Grand Forks, Minn., native, batted .632 last week and hit four home runs to help DWU to two wins, including a three-run homer in a must-win game against Mount Marty College in the Tigers’ last home series of the regular season. For his performance, Lukkason has been named the Great Plains Athletic Conference Baseball Player-of-the-Week, the league announced Tuesday afternoon.
Lukkason went 12-for-19 last week, including a pair of 3-for-4 performances in a doubleheader with Dordt College. He hit three home runs and totaled six RBIs in DWU’s 9-5 win against the Defenders. He also went 3-for-4 in the Tigers’ 8-6 loss to Dordt, and went 3-for-6 with two RBIs in a nonconference loss to Dakota State Friday night.
Saturday, the Tigers needed to split with Mount Marty to earn a spot in the GPAC postseason tournament, and Lukkason came through for his team. He hit a three-run homer in the third inning of the first game to put the Tigers up 3-1 and give DWU all the insurance it would need in the 4-2 victory. The win helped secure the eighth seed in the tournament for Dakota Wesleyan, which finished 22-24 overall and 9-11 in the league in the regular season.
Lukkason currently leads the GPAC and is 15th in the NAIA with a .418 batting average. He leads the team with 64 hits, including a team-high 13 doubles, and is second with 42 RBIs. He is also first on the team and fourth in the GPAC with a .601 slugging percentage. He has 65 putouts, 105 assists and a .904 fielding percentage from his position at shortstop.
Lukkason and the Tigers begin their run at the GPAC postseason title Thursday, May 2, when they take on top-seeded Northwestern College at 9 a.m. at Duncan Field in Hastings, Neb. DWU is the eighth seed in the eight-team tournament, which runs May 2-4 in Hastings.