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NEW YORK - Columbia seniors Alex Black, Tim Giel and Nick Ferraresi have been selected as the captains for the 2013 Lions squad, head coach Brett Boretti announced recently after a vote by the team.

Black bounced back from an injury that wiped out his 2011 season to post strong offensive numbers in 2012 that earned him second team All-Ivy League honors.  Playing primarily at the corner infield spots, the Woodlands, Texas native enjoyed a breakout season at the plate, leading the team with a .370 batting average to go with 40 hits, 14 which went for extra bases. Black heated up even more during Ivy League play, batting .375 with two home runs and 12 RBI.  He also made an appearance on the mound, pitching a scoreless two-thirds of an inning with a strikeout in Columbia's opening game at Manhattan.

In the New England Collegiate Baseball League, Black wielded a hot bat throughout the entire season for the New Bedford BaySox. Black started at first base in the NECBL All-Star Game and ended the regular season with a .333 batting average, eight home runs, 35 RBI and 10 doubles. Black also made two appearances in the late innings on the mound, as he earned a save and collected three strikeouts in two innings.

"Al Black has persevered through some early injuries in his career, making him one of our most mentally tough players," Boretti said. "He had a huge breakout season as a junior and continued to have a lot of success in the summer as an NECBL All-Star. We look forward to seeing him in the back end of our bullpen as well."

Giel recorded a 3.83 earned run average a season ago, allowing just three earned runs or fewer in eight of his nine starts. The Gibsonia, Pa. native was solid in Ivy League play, as he tossed a complete game at Cornell, shutting out the Big Red for seven innings after a three-run first inning. Against Princeton, Giel struck out seven and did not walk a batter in 5 2/3 innings. He also threw eight solid innings in Columbia's 13-3 win at Penn, allowing three runs with five strikeouts and just one walk.

In 2012 summer league action, Giel was one of the Cape Cod League's top relief pitchers. Named a Cape League All-Star, the first in Columbia history, Giel posted a 0.70 ERA in 25 2/3 innings of relief during the Bourne Braves' regular season. He notched a pair of saves, including a three-inning, one-hit effort to nail down the victory in game one of a first-round playoff series victory over Cotuit.

"Tim Giel has been the most consistent pitcher on our staff for the last four years," Boretti stated. "He is a tremendous leader by example. His work ethic on and off the field has put him on top of our rotation and is why he became a Cape Cod All-Star this past summer."

Ferraresi, a three-year starter in the outfield who hails from Wellington, Fla., capped a strong 2012 season with his first All-Ivy League honor. Ferraresi was consistent all season, hitting .310 with four home runs and 32 runs batted in. Batting mainly in the cleanup spot in the lineup, Ferraresi drove in 17 runs during 20 Ivy League games. He cranked out 15 doubles and collected six outfield assists from right field. Ferraresi delivered in a number of clutch situations last season, including slamming three hits (two doubles) and scoring three times in a 9-6 win at St. John's.

In the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League, Ferraresi cranked five home runs and drove in 23 in 25 games. He totaled seven doubles and scored 16 runs for the Staten Island Tide.

"Nick Ferraresi has been one of our more offensively talented players since his frosh year," Boretti said. "He had a big comeback year as a junior protecting Pizzano is the lineup. That success and confidence bodes well for even better senior year."

The Lions finished the 2012 season with a 21-24 mark, including a 12-8 Ivy League record.


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