NEW YORK – The start of the college baseball season is still three weeks away for Columbia, but that didn’t stop College Sports Madness from recognizing six Lions in its preseason awards, released earlier this week.
Senior David Speer, coming off a first team All-Ivy League selection in 2013, was chosen as the CSM preseason Pitcher of the Year. In 11 starts last season, Speer recorded a 2.34 ERA with 66 strikeouts and a 6-3 mark. In the opening game of the Ivy League Championship, Speer sat down a season-high 12 batters.
CSM also recognized newcomer Ryan Marks as the Freshman of the Year. Marks, a left-handed pitcher from Cos Cob, Conn. pitched for Greenwich High School where he was selected to the Connecticut State Junior All-Star Game and the All-FCIAC West team.
Fellow senior Aaron Silbar joined Speer on the CSM first team. The Jacksonville, Fla., native enters his third season as the Lions’ primary shortstop, having started 86 games over the last two season. He was an All-Ivy League first team selection in 2013 after he finished second on the team with 52 hits and third with a .306 batting average.
Donino’s impressive stats earned him a spot on the All-Ivy League second team last season. In 13 appearances, he posted an unblemished 7-0 record with 69 strikeouts and a 2.70 ERA.
Falcone, the Lions’ primary DH and cleanup hitter, was a finalist last season for the Gregg Olson Award, which recognizes college baseball’s breakout player of the year. He was also a second team selection on the All-Ivy League and ABCA Northeast Region teams after tying for the team lead with a .331 average and finishing second with a .520 slugging percentage.
Serena’s exceptional defense and speed on the base paths earned him a spot on the All-Ivy League first team a year ago. In the field, Serena completed 95 putouts and four assists without a single error, and also scorched the base paths for 27 steals, the third highest total in program history. He also slammed 16 doubles, the fourth highest total in Columbia history.
Columbia opens the season with a four-game set at South Florida on Feb. 28.