Columbia Outfield Highlights All-Ivy League Baseball Selections; Six Lions Honored in All
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

NEW YORK – Columbia's outfield of Jason Banos, Nick Cox and Dario Pizzano each were named to the 2011 All-Ivy League baseball first team, it was announced Thursday afternoon by the league office.

The trio comprise half of the squad's honorees, which included sophomore relief pitcher Tim Giel (second team), sophomore starting pitcher Stefan Olson and junior designated hitter Alexander Aurrichio (honorable mention).

Now a three-time All-Ivy Leaguer, Jason Banos had arguably his best season in his final season at Columbia, resulting in his first first-team selection.  He batted .323 with six home runs, 30 runs batted in and nine doubles to move into third place on the program's all-time doubles list.  In Ivy League play, Banos stepped up his game, batting .364 with two home runs, 19 RBI, a .449 on-base percentage and a .561 slugging percentage for an OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of 1.010.  Primarily playing left field while moonlighting in center field and at first base, Banos did not commit an error in 74 chances this season.

Also a three-time All-Ivy League outfielder, Nick Cox was named to the All-Ivy League first team for the first time in his sparkling career at Columbia.  Cox was a leadoff weapon for the Lions, batting .353 with 12 doubles, a triple, two home runs and 16 RBI from the top spot in the lineup.  He stole 18 bases in 19 attempts and tied for the team lead with 34 runs scored in 35 starts.  Cox was as good in center field as he was at the plate, making a number of game-changing defensive plays while using his speed to cover an enormous amount of ground.  He also played errorless baseball the entire season with 75 clean chances.

Dario Pizzano was named first team All-Ivy League for the second time in his first two seasons in a Columbia uniform.  Pizzano staked his claim as one of the top hitters in the Ivy League by batting .359 with nine home runs, 36 RBI and 15 doubles.  He posted an eye-popping 1.097 OPS for the season and raised that to 1.139 during Ivy League play.  Pizzano belted seven of his nine homers during league action and reached base at a .427 clip.  He walked 14 times in 20 Ivy League games and struck out in just four at-bats.  At the end of the Ivy League regular season, he led the league in home runs and total bases.

After a strong sophomore season pitching primarily in relief, Tim Giel earned All-Ivy League honors for the first time.  Giel carried a team-low earned run average of 1.71 and gained five saves, the most by a Columbia pitcher in a single season.  Giel struck out 26 batters in 26 1/3 innings and got stronger during Ivy League play.  He struck out 14 batters in 12 2/3 innings against league opponents, appearing in six games, going 1-1 with two saves and a stellar 1.42 ERA.

Another sophomore standout on the mound, Stefan Olson notched All-Ivy League accolades for the first time in his career.  Olson won two Ivy League games, including a pair of shutouts, one by himself and the other was a combined shutout with Harrison Slutsky.  In four consecutive starts from March 27 to April 17, three against Ivy opponents, Olson worked to a 1.00 ERA and allowed just 14 base hits over 27 innings.

Alexander Aurrichio gained All-Ivy League honors for the second straight season as Columbia's primary designated hitter.  Aurrichio battted .270 in 38 games, hitting four home runs and driving in 26.  During Ivy League play, his power numbers increased as he hit three homers and knocked in 14 runs against league opponents.  Aurrichio had a number of big days at the plate, notching four or more RBI three times.  Perhaps the most memorable came in Columbia's season finale at Penn, where he went 2-for-4 with a home run and five RBI to help the Lions to an 11-10 comeback victory.

2011 All-Ivy League Baseball

Player of the Year: Sam Mulroy, Princeton (C/UT, Jr., Bethesda, Md.)
Pitcher of the Year: Paul Cusick, Penn (RHP, Sr., Wilmington, Del.)
Rookie of the Year: Mike Ford, Princeton (RHP/1B, Fr., Belle Mead, N.J.)

First Team
SP - Paul Cusick, Penn (Sr., Willmington, Del.)
SP - Vinny Lally, Yale (Sr., Tampa, Fla.)
SP - Kyle Hendricks, Dartmouth (Jr., San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
SP - Cole Sulser, Dartmouth (Jr., Santa Ysabel, Calif.)
SP - Max Perlman, Harvard (Sr., Longwood, Fla.)
RP - Ryan Smith, Dartmouth (Sr., Greenlawn, N.Y.)
C - Will Davis, Penn (Sr., Atlanta, Ga.)
C - Sam Mulroy, Princeton (Jr., Bathesda, Md.)
1B - *Trey Rallis, Yale (Sr., La Canada, Calif.)
2B - Jeff Reynolds, Harvard (Jr., St. Petersburg, Fla.)
SS - Joe Sclafani, Dartmouth (Jr., Palm City, Fla.)
3B - Dan Williams, Penn (Sr., Southhampton, N.J.)
OF - Greg Zebrack, Penn (So., Northridge, Calif.)
OF - Dario Pizzano, Columbia (So., Saugus, Mass.)
OF - Jason Banos, Columbia (Sr., Lynnfield, Mass.)
OF - Nick Cox, Columbia (Sr., Lake Mary, Fla.)

UT - Mickey Brodsky, Cornell (Sr., Encino, Calif.)
DH - Spencer Branigan, Penn (So., Ross, Calif.)

Second Team
SP - Heath Mayo, Brown (So., Whitehouse, Texas)
SP - Mike Ford, Princeton (Fr., Belle Mead, N.J.)
SP - Kyle Hunter, Dartmouth (So., Palm City, Fla.)
RP - Tim Giel, Columbia (So., Gibsonia, Pa.)
RP - Kevin Fortunato, Yale (Fr., Wall, N.J.)
C - Matt Colantonio, Brown (Sr., Garden City, N.Y.)
1B - Mike Ford, Princeton (Fr., Bell Mead, N.J.)
2B - Jeff Onstott, Dartmouth (Sr., Houston, Texas)
SS - Matt Bowman, Princeton (So., Chevy Chase, Md.)
3B - Andy Megee, Yale (Sr., Los Angeles, Calif.)
OF - John Sheridan, Brown (So., Palo Alto, Calif.)
OF - Sam Bean, Dartmouth (Sr., Needham, Mass.)
OF - Jeremy Maas, Penn (Sr., Alpharetta, Ga.)
UT - Ennis Coble, Dartmouth (So., Atlanta, Ga.)
DH - Mike DiBiase, Brown (Jr., Weston, Mass.)

Honorable Mention
SP - Stefan Olson, Columbia (So., Ladera Ranch, Calif.)
SP - Matthew Kimball, Brown (Sr., Nashville, Tenn.)
SP - Jadd Scmeltzer, Cornell (Sr., Tappan, N.Y.)
SP - Zak Hermans, Princeton (So., Coppell, Texas)
SP - Brook Hart, Yale (Sr., State College, Pa.)
RP - Matt Grabowski, Princeton (Sr., Philadelphia, Pa.)
RP - A.J. Goetz, Princeton (Fr., Denver, Colo.)
C - Chris O’Dowd, Dartmouth (So., Cherry Hill Villiage, Colo.)
1B - Jason Brooks, Dartmouth (Sr., Westlake Villiage, Calif.)
2B - Alex Flink, Princeton (So., Dallas, Texas)
SS - Marshall Yanzick, Cornell (Jr., Beaverton, Ore.)
SS - Derek Vigoa, Penn (Jr., Miami, Fla.)
3B - Ryan Zrenda, Brown (Old Lime, Conn.)
OF - Brian Billigen, Cornell (Jr., Carnigie, Pa.)
OF - Cam Squires, Yale (So., Fort Wayne, Ind.)
UT - Sam Mulroy, Princeton (Jr., Bethesda, Md.)
DH - Alexander Aurrichio, Columbia (Jr., Dix Hills, N.Y.)
UT - Marcus Way, Harvard (Jr., Naples, N.Y.)

* unanimous selection
^ due to a tie in the voting, two additional starting pitchers, one additional catcher and one additional outfielder were named to the first team All-Ivy