Dear Columbia Baseball Supporter,
As you may know, this past weekend was the opening weekend of the NCAA baseball tournament. The 2012 Major League Baseball Draft has taken place over the last few days, and today, the NCAA Super Regionals start (we played two teams who are still competing - Stony Brook and St John’s). With so much going on in the world of baseball, I thought this would be a great time to forward the Columbia Baseball end of season report to you.
We finished the year at 21-24 overall and 12-8 in the Ivy League. We took 3 of 4 from Princeton and Penn the last two weekends of the year, but Cornell had an excellent season (14-6), and eventually went on to win the Ivy title.
We started the season at 3-13 (after two tough one run losses to Stony Brook at home on March 23). We ended with an 18-11 record, with non-conference wins over St. Johns and Rutgers - the first time since 2003 that Columbia has beaten both in the same season. We ended up playing 7 teams that advanced to the NCAA Regionals (San Diego, Pepperdine, Stony Brook, Army, Manhattan, St John’s, and Cornell). That’s twice as many played as anyone else in the Ivy League. I fully believe our schedule is the best in the Ivy League and our tough early season schedule prepares us well for Ivy League play.
This season, we had a number of players receive All-Ivy recognition. Senior Jon Eisen was the Blair Bat Award (top Ivy-only batting average) winner, and just over the past three days, we had two of our players (Dario Pizzano and Pat Lowery) drafted by Major League Baseball clubs.We have a lot to be proud about.
We had three First Team All-Ivy performers: seniors Pat Lowery (RHP) and Jon Eisen (3B), and junior Dario Pizzano (OF). These guys had tremendous seasons.
Pizzano was named Ivy Player of the Year. He put up great offensive numbers (.360, 16 Dbls, 82 Tb’s, 36 RBI) and he was consistently coming up with the big hit throughout the season. He walked almost twice as much as he struck out (31BB-16K) which is a sign of a very good hitter. Dario is very excited about being drafted by the Seattle Mariners (15th round). If he does not sign, he is going to the Cape Cod League this summer to play for the Bourne Braves.
Pat Lowery was our #1 starter for the last three years. He finished his senior year very strong, leading the league in ERA in overall games (2.35) and in Ivy-only games (1.80). He was a strong candidate for Pitcher of the Year. Pat has been our best #1 starter since I have been at Columbia. He got the ball in the first game of each Ivy weekend and he gave us everything he had to help us win. The team will sorely miss Pat’s ability, his presence, and his leadership. Pat was drafted by the Angels in the 21st round of the draft. The Angels got a winner and a person who will do everything he can to take his game to the highest level possible.
Jon Eisen won the Blair Bat Award with an incredible .446. The last Lion to win the Blair Bat was Noah Cooper (’08). Eisen was an over-achiever at Columbia. He came in as a utility player and made himself into a First Team All-Ivy player. He would not be denied. He worked tirelessly to get better and better in all facets of his game. His energy and spark-plug play were a favorite of the coaching staff. Jon is continuing his baseball career overseas in Germany. He is enjoying every minute of it and I am sure they are enjoying him as a teammate.
Junior RHP Stefan Olson and junior first baseman Alex Black were named Second Team All-Ivy.
Olson had a productive year and had some big pitching performances with wins over San Diego and a dominant win over Penn to end the year. Alex Black’s comeback gave the line-up a huge boost. Al Black had been injured for parts of two seasons (Tommy John surgery). He is a versatile player (1B, 3B, RHP) who brings a lot to our lineup and we are excited he got back to 100%.
Finally, junior outfielder Nick Ferraresi was named Honorable Mention All-Ivy. Ferraresi had a big comeback year. He contributed a great deal to our offense and came up with several clutch hits in key situations.
Another player who did not get All-Ivy recognition, but I would like to recognize, is junior RHP Tim Giel. Tim threw the ball extremely well and was very consistent throughout the season. He is a bulldog on the mound and made the transition back to the rotation after serving as our closer in 2011. He will be playing in the Cape Cod League for the Bourne Braves this summer.
The team awards (as voted by the players) were also announced recently. The Joseph P. Allen Award- (inspirational leadership, sportsmanship, team and college loyalty, and service as a player)-Jon Eisen, Lou Gehrig MVP-Dario Pizzano, Cy Young- Pat Lowery, Rookie of the Year-David Spinosa, and Mr. Hustle Award- Anthony Potter.
We ended up leading the Ivy League (Ivy games only) in batting average and OBP %, and we had the lowest ERA. Eisen and Pizzano were 1 and 2 in batting and Lowery led the league in ERA. As a staff, we struck out a league best and walked a league least. We did a lot of good things this season but just fell a couple wins short.
As we look ahead to next year, our schedule gets even more challenging. We have two early season weekend trips to open the year. The first weekend in March will see us back down (we went in 2009) to Beaumont, TX to play Lamar University for 4 games. The following weekend we will travel to the University of Arizona for the first time in Columbia Baseball history. We have a 3 game series with Wildcats. Our spring break trip will start at the University of Central Florida (4 games), then onto the University of Miami (2 games), and we finish up at Jacksonville University (3 games). I think it is a great early season schedule.
This summer, our players are all over the country playing in NCAA sanctioned leagues. We have 18 guys playing in different leagues from California to Massachusetts. I want to thank all of them for their time and effort. It is crucial for our players to play in the best leagues during the summer in order for us to compete at a championship level come spring. They are making a big commitment and sacrifice to play in these leagues, and I am grateful for all their efforts.
I am excited about the future. I feel like I always say that - but I truly am. Next year’s senior class has a lot of talent, but talent alone doesn’t win championships. We have always tried to recruit the best so we compete on a daily basis. I believe that we have a team that works hard and knows that the competition is stiff all around the diamond. Our starting pitching and our depth will again be our strength. Assistant coach Pete Maki has done a great job with developing our pitching staff.
The new freshmen are talented. We brought in 6 pitchers, including RHP’s - Kevin Roy (TX), Matt Robinson (FL), Adam Cline (WA), Willis Robbins (NY), and two LHP’s - Thomas Crispi (MA) and George Martin (TX). Also joining the team will be catcher Logan Boyher (MO), first-basemen, Nick Maguire (NJ) and shortstop, John Kinne (MA). Two of them are Red Sox fans - can you guess which two?!
We have already hit the recruiting trail for next year. This is our busiest recruiting time of the year. We are on the road for most of June thru August trying to identify prospects across the country. This past weekend both Pete Maki and I were in the “Lonestar” state trying to find some future Columbians. If you know of or have seen a player you feel fits our profile, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, I appreciate the continued support we got this season. The Columbia Baseball Alumni Homecoming Day was again a huge success. I really want to thank all of you who came to support the team. It is always a lot fun playing and winning in front of our alumni. I also want to thank the Columbia Baseball Advisory Board for their continued support and involvement in the program. Lastly, I want to thank Phil Satow for coming to several home games this spring - rain or shine. It means a whole lot to the guys on the team. Thanks Phil and thanks to all of our alumni who came out to watch some games.
Please follow our website for periodic updates on our players in summer ball.
If you have not made a gift to the program this fiscal year here is the link: https://giving.columbia.edu/giveonline/?schoolstyle=060&alloc=05046
All of the gift money goes directly to supporting the baseball program (spring trip, special gear and uniforms, extra recruiting dollars, etc)- we use it wisely and affectively.
I just made my gift to Columbia Baseball - I hope you will do the same.
Thanks for reading and for supporting Columbia Baseball.
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Head Baseball Coach
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