“I think the team did a really good job electing its captains for the 2014 season,” said Boretti. “We try to recruit players with strong leadership qualities and each of these players have been a great example for our younger players.”
Fischer has been a constant behind the plate for Columbia during his career. The Scotia, N.Y., native has made 99 starts and earned a spot on the All-Ivy League second team as a junior. Fischer is also among the nation’s best in keeping base runners stationary, throwing out at least 41 percent of all potential base stealers in each season. In 2013, he sent 20 of 42 base stealers (47.6) back to the opposing dug out.
“Mike Fischer is a four-year starter that does a great job working with the pitching staff and being our on field general behind the plate,” commented Boretti.
One of the best all-around players in the Ancient Eight, Silbar was named the shortstop for the All-Ivy League first team in 2013. The Jacksonville, Fla., native started all 48 games for the Lions in his second season as the full-time shortstop, transforming the Lions’ infield into one the most mistake-free defenses in the Ivy League. At the dish, Silbar finished last season second on the team with a .306 batting average, 52 hits and 11 doubles.
“Aaron Silbar's baseball IQ is outstanding and he has been like having another coach in the middle of the field at shortstop for us,” remarked Boretti.
A dominant force on the mound, Speer was also selected to the All-Ivy League first team in 2013. Speer paced the Ivy League with 73 innings pitched and 28 batters struck out looking, while ranking among the top-10 in total strikeouts (66, second), ERA (2.34, ninth) and opposing batting average (.233, eighth). In games against Ivy League foes, Speer posted a 1.06 ERA. He saved his best performance for the Ivy League Championship, striking out 12 Dartmouth batters in 7.1 innings of work, leading Columbia to a 6-5 win.
“Dave Speer leads the pitching staff by example everyday, whether it's at practice, in games, in meetings, in the weight room or in the class room,” noted Boretti. “He strives to be the best and that rubs off on the guys around him.”
Columbia is set to open the season on Friday, Feb. 28 at South Florida. The Lions will play their first home game a Robertson Field at Satow Stadium against Brown on Saturday, March 29.