Prep Baseball Report

LaCourse Looking To ‘Make Memories’ At Michigan State

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer

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LaCourse Looking To ‘Make Memories’ At Michigan State

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Luke LaCourse RHP / 3B / Bay City Western, MI / 2025

BAY CITY - A visit to Michigan State that including watching a fall practice made a college decision easy for Luke LaCourse.

“What they were preaching is the environment I want to be in,” the Bay City Western junior said. “In the end it came down to Cincinnati and Michigan State but in weighing it all out, Michigan State was the best fit for me.”

MSU has known about the sixth-rated 2025 right-handed pitcher in Michigan for some time.

“They heard about me from my travel coach, Tony Leonard,” LaCourse reflected. “They’ve known about me for two years. In the fall I went to a camp there and threw really well. My numbers were good and they liked how I was as a person. They gave me an offer and wanted to know as soon as possible. Before committing I took a visit. I sat and watched a practice and it was super impressive, super professional.”

LaCourse also took a liking to Cincinnati before deciding that MSU was right for him.

“I had close ties with (head) coach (Jordan) Bischel at Cincinnati,” LaCourse related. “He was at Central Michigan and I’m impressed with what he’s building at Cincinnati. It came down to location, six hours from home compared to an hour-and-a-half. I want family and friends to see me play, especially my parents.”

There were also offers from Toledo and Central Michigan along with talks with Michigan, Miami of Ohio and Western Michigan, but it was Michigan State that came out on top.

“They like how I handle myself, and like that I’m super confident in myself,” the ninth-ranked junior in the state said. “They’re intrigued with my fastball, the spin, the trackman data. They felt it was something they could work with. They also liked how humble I was and that I’m a family person.”

The thought of playing baseball after high school has been there for some time.

“Since a young age, 11 or 12, it became a dream,” LaCourse said about college baseball. “At 14 it was like wow, I can do this. I played my first year with the Motor City Hit Dogs and after going south and competing, I felt I could play at a high level.”

But there was an injury to overcome along the way.

“That built a lot of character for me,” noted LaCourse, who separated his throwing shoulder during football season a year ago. “That sat everything back. There wasn’t surgery, but it was four months of recovery.”

LaCourse found positives in the negative.

“It was kind of a blessing in disguise,” LaCourse explained. “I had to slow down and work on what I needed to work on. I was given the idea of training my whole body by a physical therapist and that helped improve my statistics. I just found how much you need to work and what you need to work on. I also found out that I really love the game.”

But it was a difficult recruiting process.

“It was definitely chaotic,” noted LaCourse, who credited coaches and camps with playing a big role in his recruitment. “I was talking to schools prior to the new rule change and thinking about where to go, then the rule change hit and that delayed everything. It came down to Aug. 1. I was just waiting for calls from coaches. It was super stressful and I’m glad it’s over, but I’ll remember it.”

The 6-3 210-pounder, who began a new throwing program this fall and has improved his velocity by three miles an hour, believes he can be a major asset to the Big 10 program in East Lansing.

“On the field I’m going to compete no matter who is at bat,” LaCourse pointed out. “You’re going to get strikes and you have to hit it to win. The biggest thing I’ll bring is off the field. I’m good to be around, I’m a good locker room guy who’s good in the dugout and super coachable. I’ll bring energy, stay humble, stay quiet and just do my thing.”

The recently-turned 17-year-old credited Leonard, his travel coach with the Hit Dogs, as a “driving part for me. He pushed me to be the best person I can be.”

Admittedly, it was an “awesome” feeling once a commitment was made.

“We went on the visit to Michigan State and made the decision on the car ride home that this is where I want to be,” LaCourse said. “It was like a monkey off my shoulders.”

A major in business finance is the plan for LaCourse, who carries a 3.8 GPA at Bay City Western.

“I’m looking forward to making memories,” LaCourse concluded. “When I look back I’m hoping to be happy and grateful for the college experience. Baseball-wise, hopefully, I’ll go pro. That’s always been the goal, along with making memories.”

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