GCIT grad Luke Franklin made history at Rosemont College

by Marc Narducci | Jul 15, 2022
GCIT grad Luke Franklin made history at Rosemont College

Luke Franklin made history with his first career at-bat for Rosemont College. That’s because Franklin, a shortstop, who just completed his freshman season, was the first player to step to the plate for Rosemont College.

The school, located not far from Villanova, debuted its baseball program this past spring. Franklin, a shortstop who graduated from the Gloucester County Institute of Technology (GCIT), was the Ravens’ leadoff hitter in the first game.

“It was pretty cool that I led off and was the first batter in the history of the program,” Franklin said.

He was also the first player in school history to reach base. Franklin, a starting shortstop, was hit by a pitch. Later that inning, Franklin became the first to score a run as well.

“It was like a 2-2 count and the kid hits me and my whole dugout went nuts,” he said laughing.

For the record, Rosemont lost 19-8 to host Penn State Brandywine in that opener.

Franklin went 1 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI, in addition to being hit by the pitch.

As expected, Rosemont took its lumps as a first-year varsity team. Some schools will play a sub-varsity schedule the first year, but Rosemont jumped right into varsity competition.

With a young team, Rosemont went 6-30 the first year. Franklin enjoyed a standout debut season.

He was second on the team with a .306 batting average. Franklin played in 34 games, all starts.

He also walked a team-high 17 times and that helped contribute to his team-leading .415 on-base percentage.

This summer Franklin is keeping sharp by playing for Deptford’s American Legion team. He is playing shortstop while again hitting lead-off. In a game last week against Brooklawn Red, he also took the mound because his team was short on pitchers. Perennial state power Brooklawn won the game in five innings, 14-0.

Franklin said it was the first time in about two and a half years that has pitched.

“It was fun because you are playing Brooklawn Red and they had a big lead when I got in and there was no pressure and it was more fun than anything,” he said.

More importantly, Franklin is getting reps at the plate. His final college game was May 3 and the Legion schedule didn’t begin until June 13. Baseball is a sport where repetition is needed and Franklin said it felt good to shake off the rust after more than a month layoff.

“It was a little rough because I was waiting from the beginning of May to mid-June,” he said.

In September, he will return to playing fall baseball for Rosemont. Then after that, it is winter training and his sophomore season will be here before he knows it.

If the rest of his career can match his first college season, then Franklin will be having the time of his life.

“It was a lot of fun but it was really tiring. It is a huge jump going from high school to college.”

Still, he was able to adjust and hit over .300.

“The goal was always to hit .300 or at least have a high on-base percentage,” said Franklin, who accomplished both. “I didn’t know what to expect from Division III pitching, but I was happy how things went.”

And now he’s looking for more improvement in his sophomore season.

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No matter what happens from here, being the first player to bat, reach base and score in school history will ensure that Franklin’s name will always remain in the Rosemont record books.

Author: Marc Narducci


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