NEW YORK - Columbia rising senior Alex Black has been named the starting first baseman for the East team in the annual New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) All-Star Game. Black is batting .345 with seven doubles, six home runs and 28 runs batted in for the New Bedford BaySox in 33 games. The NECBL All-Star Game is Sunday, July 22 in Montpelier, Vt.
Rising sophomore Robb Paller has also been named an all-star in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League and will suit up in the outfield for the Hampton Division. Paller is currently hitting .316 in 23 games for the North Fork Ospreys. He has totaled nine doubles, two home runs and driven in 18 runs. He also has eight stolen bases to his credit. Paller will appear in the ACBL All-Star Game at MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, on Thursday, July 19 at 7 p.m.
Black and Paller are just two Columbians who are performing well in NCAA sanctioned summer baseball leagues.
In the fabled Cape Cod League, rising senior right-hander Tim Giel is pitching to a 1.04 earned run average for the Bourne Braves. In 17 1/3 innings pitched, Giel has struck out 16, allowed just eight base hits and has earned a save. He sports the lowest ERA on the Braves by nearly two runs.
Back to the NECBL, rising junior southpaw David Speer owns a 3-2 record with a 2.57 earned run average in six starts for the Holyoke Blue Sox. Speer already has two complete games to his credit and has 31 strikeouts in 42 innings pitched. He has only walked seven batters this season.
After batting .231 in 13 games in the Northwoods League, rising junior catcher Mike Fischer moved to the NECBL to join Speer on the Holyoke squad. Fischer has caught 13 games for the Blue Sox and has three doubles in 38 at-bats.
Rising junior right-hander Zack Tax has a 1-1 record with a 2.30 ERA for the Danbury Westerners in the NECBL. In nine appearances out of the bullpen, Tax has 12 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings pitched.
In the Futures League, rising junior Aaron Silbar is manning shortstop for the North Shore Navigators. Silbar is batting .233 with 13 runs batted in and six doubles. Teammate and rising Columbia sophomore Mike Weisman owns a 1-0 record with two saves in eight relief outings. The left-hander has struck out seven in 8 1/3 innings.
Two Columbia teammates - rising sophomores Gus Craig and Jordan Serena - are also teaming up in the Futures League on the Torrington Titans. Craig, who has a seven-RBI game to his credit this season, is batting .274 with a home run and seven stolen bases. Serena has split his time between shortstop and third base. He carries a .400 on-base percentage and leads the entire league with 18 stolen bases.
In the Cal Ripken Collegiate League, rising juniors Joey Donino and Enmanuel Cabreja teamed up with the D.C. Grays. Donino was selected to the All-Star Game after carrying a 3.34 ERA into the game with 33 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings pitched. Behind the plate, Cabreja has three home runs, five doubles and nine RBI in 52 at-bats.
Rising sophomore David Vandercook is splitting his time between third base and first base in the Great Lakes League. Vandercook has belted three home runs and driven in 12. His six doubles rank second on his Lake Erie Monarchs squad.
In the Atlantic Collegiate League, rising senior Nick Ferraresi is tied for his team lead with three home runs. Ferraresi has driven in 14 runs and has four doubles to his credit in 18 games.
Also in the ACBL, rising junior Joey Gandolfo is pitching for the North Jersey Eagles. In 21 1/3 innings, Gandolfo has racked up 30 strikeouts and owns a 2-1 record.
In the California Collegiate League, rising sophomore George Thanopoulos has held opponents to a .205 batting average in 32 1/3 innings pitched. Thanopoulos sports a 1-0 record, 4.18 ERA with 24 strikeouts.