Navy’s Luke Gillingham Puts Up Big Numbers

Luke Gillingham Action NavyBy LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Luke Gillingham is one of the greatest pitchers in U.S. Naval Academy history.

The talented southpaw senior put up staggering numbers last season:

• 8-1 record over 83 1/3 innings.

• Ranked fourth nationally with a 1.19 ERA.

• 111 strikeouts and only 14 walks.

• Led NCAA Division I in both hits per nine inning (4.75) and WHIP (0.70).

• Recorded 12 or more strikeouts in four of his first five starts (16, 14, 12, 8, 15).

• Fired 5 complete games over 12 appearances.

In 2016, Gillingham is having another fine season. He is currently 3-1 with a 2.18 ERA and has struck out 39 batters with only 5 walks and 2 complete games.

It’s quite a departure from his first two years at Navy when he posted a combined 6-9 overall record and 3.28 ERA.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder gives a lot of the credit for his recent success to Pitching Coach Bobby Applegate.

“Coach Applegate deserves a lot of credit for the successes I had last year and early this season,” said Gillingham.

“He was a new coach with the program last year, and he really emphasized getting ahead early in the count and attacking hitters. When he came in, he really built my confidence up as well. That was a big factor as well with the stuff I had and working more on 2-plane movement on my fastball which helped with balls that might have been base hits that turned into swing and miss pitches or balls fouled off.”

Gillingham said Applegate is big on mentally visualizing pitches prior to throwing them and taking the art of pitching one pitch at a time.

“He really helped me get in a better rhythm when I was pitching and focused on each pitch instead of the end result. By doing so, it allowed me to put up a lot of zeroes and last longer in games.”

In the past season and a half, he has thrown 7 complete games which is a direct result of Applegate’s influence.

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