NEW YORK - Following the completion of the most successful season in Columbia baseball history, 18 student-athletes headed to their respective summer league teams. Below is a round-up of the players representing the Lions around the nation.
A trio of Columbia players are competing in the Perfect Game New York College Baseball League (PGNYCBL). Jordan Serena and Mike Fischer are both playing for the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs, while David Vandercook is a member of the Newark Pilots.
Serena’s stellar defensive effort from the spring has continued in Mohawk Valley. In 25 starts, the rising junior has yet to commit an error, while hitting at a .275 clip at the top of the lineup. Serena is third on the DiamondDawgs with 91 at bats and fourth with 10 stolen bases.
Fischer has seen action in 14 games, making 11 starts for Mohawk Valley. Among the three catchers on the DiamondDawgs’ roster, Fischer’s .991 fielding percentage is tops. His exceptional fielding and ability to manage the entire Mohawk Valley rotation earned Fischer a spot on the PGNYCBL East Division all-star team.
Joining Fischer in the PGNYCBL all-star game as a member of the West Division team will be Vandercook. Among the regular starters for Newark, Vandercook has been the power bat in the lineup, posting a .529 slugging percentage. Of Vandercook’s 24 hits, 13 of those have gone for extra bases as he is second in home runs (three), triples (three) and doubles (four), leading to 12 RBI.
Also competing in the Empire State in the New York College Baseball League (NYCBL) is rising sophomore pitcher George Martin. Playing for the Geneva Red Wings, Martin has struck out 14 batters in 11 innings of work. Martin’s most recent appearance on July 14 was his longest of the year. He went 3.0 innings, striking out a trio of batters against the Wellsville Nitros.
In the Cape Cod League, rising senior pitcher David Speer began the season with the Bourne Braves before moving on to the Chatham Anglers. With Bourne, Speer pitched to a 1.97 ERA over 13.2 innings. Since joining Chatham, he has thrown three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. Speer has struck out 15 batters between the two teams.
A pair of Lions, Joey Gandolfo and Nick Maguire, are members of the North Jersey Eagles of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League. Gandolfo, who will be entering his senior season with the Lions in 2014, was named an East Team All-star on July 15. The Saddle River, N.J. native has a team-leading 1.56 ERA over 23 innings. He is second on the Eagles with 19 strikeouts and holds a 2-0 record in six appearances.
First baseman and rising sophomore, Maguire, has played in seven games for North Jersey. At the plate, Maguire is hitting at a .286 clip and has walked a trio of times. In the field, Maguire his played his position cleanly, posting 26 putouts and two assists.
Another league populated by three Columbia ballplayers is the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. Pitchers Thomas Crispi and Mike Weisman are each members of the North Shore Navigators, while infielder John Kinne is playing for the Pittsfield Suns.
Crispi is putting together a nice campaign on the mound for the Navigators, recording a 2.86 ERA in 22 innings. On July 15, Crispi raised his season strikeout total to 28 when he sat down seven batters from the Seacoast Mavericks in five innings.
Weisman has an identical 0-1 record to his teammate Crispi, while putting up a 4.72 ERA in 13.1 innings on the hill.
Kinne, a rising sophomore, has spent time this summer at shortstop for Pittsfield. Over 22 games, Kinne has a .260 batting average, 12 walks and 11 RBI. Kinne had a breakout game on July 10, going 3-for-4 at the dish, driving in two runs, scoring twice and reaching base via two walks to help lead Pittsfield to a 17-9 throttling on the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs.
Another Lion playing in New England is Zack Tax. A member of the Dansbury Westerners (New England Collegiate Baseball League), Tax holds a 2-0 mark and a 1.42 ERA in 19 innings of work. Tax, who Columbia fans remember threw five no-hit innings in the NCAA Tournament against Arizona State, also picked up saves in two recent Dansbury victories.
David Spinosa has been a valuable hurler in the bullpen for the Waynesboro Generals of the Valley Baseball League in Virginia. In 17.1 innings of relief work, Spinosa has posted a team-leading 1.03 ERA, having allowed just two earned runs in 11 appearances. He is averaging just under one strikeout per inning, fanning 17 opposing hitters this season.
Crossing the country, Gus Craig and Adam Cline are each competing on the west coast. Craig has appeared in 23 games this summer for the Corvallis Knights of the West Coast League, spraying 11 hits, scoring seven times, driving in five base runners and walking five times. He helped lead Corvallis to back-to-back wins over the Portland Toros and WCL Portland on July 5 and 6, respectively, when he went 4-for-8 with four RBI, two runs scored, a homer and a triple.
Cline has had a strong summer pitching for Top Speed Baseball of the Far West League. The rising sophomore is just one of three pitchers on Top Speed to throw at least 39 innings (39.1), posting the second-lowest ERA on the team at 2.28. He stands at 3-3 on the season, with 28 strikeouts and one save in 10 appearances.
Pitcher George Thanopoulus is in his second season with the Los Angeles Brewers of the California Collegiate League. Thanopoulos has a 3-1 record and a 2.57 ERA in 28 innings on the hill. He currently leads the Brewers with 29 strikeouts, while holding opposing hitters to a .212 batting average.
Heading to the Midwest, rising sophomore Logan Boyher is having an outstanding summer in the St. Louis Metro Collegiate Baseball League (STLMCIBL) playing for the Kats. Boyher’s .333 batting average ranks him 10th in the seven-team league. In 22 games, Boyher has driven in 14 runs, walked 12 times and has accounted for 12 runs scored.
Pitcher Kevin Roy, who will return to Columbia this fall as a sophomore, is logging innings in the Texas Collegiate League with the Woodlands Strykers. In seven appearances (two starts) Roy has posted a 3.52 ERA and 14 strikeouts. Roy’s longest appearances was on July 12 when he threw six innings of two-hit ball, allowing just two runs, while striking out four.
Playing in the Florida Collegiate Summer League for the College Park Freedom, pitcher Matt Robinson has thrown six innings over three appearances. The rising sophomore has four strikeouts, with three of those sit downs coming in two innings of work against the Orlando Monarchs on June 15.