Bellwood’s Luensmann has big plans

Chad Luensmann will be a high school senior at Bellwood-Antis this fall.

But the repertoire of pitches that he has at his disposal are more typical of a pitcher who is far beyond Luensmann’s years.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound right-hander throws a fast ball that tops out at 91 miles per hour, and also possesses a very good change-up, slider and split-finger curve ball.

“He’s a very smart kid,” Bellwood-Antis coach Steve Conlon said of Luensmann, who sported an 8-2 record with a microscopic 0.55 earned run average as a pitcher for the Blue Devils’ varsity baseball squad this past spring. “He not only throws hard, but he’s also a pitcher. He’s very good about locating pitches. A lot of high school pitchers just rear back and throw the fast ball, but he throws four different pitches and has good command of all of them.”

Luensmann hopes to play college baseball at the University of Nebraska after graduating from Bellwood-Antis in the spring of 2015. That is, if he doesn’t get chosen by a Major League Baseball organization first in the 2015 amateur baseball draft.

Luensmann hopes to get noticed by Major League Baseball scouts and other personnel this August, when he participates in the Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif.

“Probably every single major league team will [have representatives] there,” said Luensmann, who will pitch for the Northeast team in the Area Code Games, which will be held Aug. 3-9. “It’s a really big deal because of how much exposure there is, and it’s an honor to make the team because of how difficult the competition is.”

The Area Code Games is a round-robin event sponsored by Major League Baseball. The tournament is made up of teams from different regions of the country that represent major league organizations, and the Northeast team represents the New York Yankees.

“You have to be recommended by a scout to make the first tryout for a team,” Luensmann said. “There are four initial tryouts, and if you’re successful, you get a call-back tryout. There are over 100 people at each tryout, and only about 20 to 25 actually make the team.”

Luensmann made the team after his performance at the call-back tryout at Bentley College, which is located just south of Boston, on June 25.

“It’s a real honor to represent our area,” Luensmann said. “It’s really difficult to make that team.”

Luensmann was recommended for the tryouts by Brent Ronan, who is an area scout for the Yankees and runs an organization known as PANine Baseball Combine, which ranks players from Pennsylvania.

Luensmann is currently playing for a summer travel baseball team known as the United States Elite team, which is made up of players who hail mostly from Pennsylvania and participate in competitions up and down the east coast of the United States.

What Luensmann’s baseball future holds remains to be seen, but it promises to be a bright one.

“The University of Nebraska has a great track record, they play in the Big Ten Conference, and they’ve had a lot of success,” Luensmann said. “But I’m also working right now to get drafted by a Major League Baseball team. I think I have a good chance as long as the next year goes well and I add a couple more miles an hour to my fast ball.”