PRINCETON, N.J. – Pitcher David Speer, shortstop Aaron Silbar and outfielder Jordan Serena headlined nine All-Ivy League selections for Columbia as first team selections, as announced by the conference office Thursday afternoon.
Garnering All-Ivy League second team accolades were: pitcher Joey Donino, catcher Mike Fischer, first baseman Alex Black and designated hitter Joey Falcone. Rounding out the selections for Columbia were honorable mention selections, pitchers Tim Giel and Kevin Roy. The nine selections are the most for Columbia since 2010 when it also placed nine student-athletes on All-Ivy League teams. Seven of the nine Columbia selections are making their first appearances on All-Ivy League teams.
Speer, a junior from Westport, Conn., was the frontline weekend starter for the Lions throughout the year, posting a 6-2 record en route to his first All-Ivy League selection. Speer, who started a team-high 10 games for Columbia, threw a conference-most 66.1 innings and sat down 63 batters to pace the Ivy League. Speer’s overall 2.17 ERA puts him in a tie for sixth lowest in the league, while his 1.06 conference-only mark was the fifth lowest. His five complete games this season are the eighth most in the nation.
Silbar also garnered his first All-Ivy League selection after manning shortstop for Columbia for the second straight season. The junior from Jacksonville, Fla. made a drastic improvement from his sophomore campaign, raising his batting average nearly .100 to .316 as a junior, second best on the team. A starter in 44 of 45 games for Columbia to this point, Silbar is one of two Lions to post double-digit doubles, registering 11 two-baggers and 20 RBI. His 49 hits tied Black for the most on the team.
Similar to his two teammates, Serena’s first All-Ivy League selection is to the first team. The sophomore from Parker Colo. brought a multi-faceted attack to the diamond this season. His speed on the base paths garnered much of the attention this season, as he swiped 27 bases (15th in the nation) in 28 attempts to lead the Ivy League. Serena also produced at the plate and in the field as well. His .278 batting average was third-highest among Columbia’s starters, while his 14 doubles and 35 runs scored paced the team. Playing primarily as the Lions’ centerfielder, he was the lone position player to not commit an error, tallying 86 putouts and four assists in 90 attempts.
Donino made the jump to weekend starter this season and thrived, especially during conference play. The junior from Avon, Conn. whiffed a league-high 36 hitters over 31 innings on his way to a 4-0 conference mark. On the season, Donino fell just short of teammate Speer, striking out 61 in 50 innings of work. He finished the season with an unblemished 6-0 record (3.06 ERA) and was the only weekend starter to not give up a triple or home run this season.
Fischer was the definition of dependability and durability behind the dish for Columbia this season. For the second straight season, the junior from Scotia, N.Y., was charged with just one error for a fielding percentage of .997. Opponents on the base paths also thought twice before attempting steals with Fischer behind the plate, as he threw out nearly half of all base runners that attempted to steal, 17-of-36 (47.2 percent). He showed his durability, starting 38 games this season, including the final 21 of the season, while also manning the plate for all 20 conference contests.
Black, a senior tri-captain, is making is second consecutive appearance on the All-Ivy League second team. The Lions’ first baseman, who also saw action on the hill as a closer, was a model of consistency and power at the dish. Batting in the heart of the Columbia lineup (third, fourth or fifth) the entire season, Black led or was tied for the team-high in six offensive categories: batting average (.327), hits (49), home runs (seven), total bases (78), slugging percentage (.520) and on-base percentage (.452). Black’s on-base percentage was assisted with 25 walks and 11 hit by pitches, both tied for second on team.
In his first season at Columbia, Falcone worked his way from pinch-hitter to clean-up hitter during the Lions’ historic Ivy League season. With awe-inspiring power, Falcone continued to improve throughout the season, driving his average up to .336, while also launching five homers, a triple and five doubles. He joins Black as one of just two Columbia starters to slug over .500 (.536) and to post an on-base percentage over .400 (.403).
*Note: Despite posting the highest batting and slugging average on the team, Falcone has not yet reached the required minimum at-bats to be considered for NCAA and Ivy League rankings.
Columbia’s stellar pitching was also recognized with a pair of honorable mention selections in Giel and Roy.
Giel joins Black as the only two Lions to earn a second selection to an All-Ivy League team this season. A second-team reliever selection in 2011, Giel served as a weekend starter and one of the Lions’ tri-captains. In conference play, the Gibsonia, Pa. native, posted a 1.71 ERA over 31.2 innings. He struck out 26 hitters, while going 2-2 from the hill. Overall, Giel’s 2.73 ERA was second-lowest on the team.
Roy, a freshman from Houston and Columbia’s primary reliever, threw 24 innings in 12 appearances this season. His 2.25 ERA, .202 batting average against and 19 strikeouts are the second-best among his bullpen mates, helping him to earning a 3-1 record.
All-Ivy League Selections
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Mike Ford, Princeton (Jr., 1B/P – Belle Mead, N.J.)
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Mike Ford, Princeton (Jr., 1B/P – Belle Mead, N.J.)
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Joe Purritano, Dartmouth (Fr., DH – Woodcliff Lake, N.J.)
FIRST-TEAM ALL-IVY (17)^
P – Mike Ford, Princeton (Jr., 1B/P – Belle Mead, N.J.)*
P – Michael Johnson, Dartmouth (Sr. – Georgetown, Mass.)
P – David Speer, Columbia (Jr. – Westport, Conn.)*
RP – Thomas Olson, Dartmouth (So. – Manhattan, Kan.)
C – Matt MacDowell, Dartmouth (So. – Falmouth, Maine)
C – Chris Piwinski, Yale (Sr. – Folsom, Calif.)
1B – Mike Ford, Princeton (Jr., 1B/P – Belle Mead, N.J.)*
2B – Matt Parisi, Dartmouth (So. – Clermont, Fla.)
SS – Aaron Silbar, Columbia (Jr. – Jacksonville, Fla.)*
3B – Nick Lombardi, Dartmouth (So. – Saugus, Calif.)
OF – Ennis Coble, Dartmouth (Sr. – Atlanta)
OF – Ryan Deitrich, Penn (Sr. – Collegeville, Pa.)
OF – Jeff Keller, Dartmouth (Jr. – Atherton, Calif.)*
OF – Alec Keller, Princeton (Jr. – Richmond, Va.)*
OF – Jordan Serena, Columbia (So. – Parker, Colo.)
UT – Rick Brebner, Penn (Jr. – Langhorne, Pa.)*
DH – Joe Purritano, Dartmouth (Fr. – Woodcliff Lake, N.J.)*
SECOND-TEAM ALL-IVY (13)
P – Joey Donino, Columbia (Jr. – Avon, Conn.)
P – David Hickey, Yale (Jr. – Darien, Conn.)
P – Kyle Hunter, Dartmouth (Sr. – Palm City, Fla.)
RP – Michael Byrne, Cornell (Fr. – Vienna, Va.)
C – Mike Fischer, Columbia (Jr. – Scotia, N.Y.)
1B – Alex Black, Columbia (Sr. – The Woodlands, Texas)
2B – Tanner Anderson, Harvard (So. – Tampa, Fla.)
SS – Mike Martin, Harvard (So. – Buffalo Grove, Ill.)
3B – Brent Lawson, Yale (Fr. – Newport Beach, Calif.)
OF – Brandon Kregel, Harvard (So. – Lilburn, Ga.)
OF – Will Marcal, Brown (So. – Lexington, Mass.)
OF – JD Whetsel, Cornell (So. – Liberty Twp., Ohio)
DH – Joey Falcone, Columbia (So. – Brooklyn, N.Y.)
HONORABLE MENTION (12)
P – Tim Giel, Columbia (Sr. – Gibsonia, Pa.)
P – Zak Hermans, Princeton (Sr. – Coppell, Texas)
P – Zach McCulley, Cornell (Jr. – Pensacola, Fla.)
P – Cole Sulser, Dartmouth (Sr. – Santa Ysabel, Calif.)
RP – John Beasley, Penn (Sr. – Virginia Beach, Va.)
RP – Cale Hanson, Yale (Jr. – Katy, Texas)
RP – Kevin Roy, Columbia (Fr. – Houston)
C – Austin Bossart, Penn (So. – O’Fallon, Ill.)
2B – Brenton Peters, Cornell (Sr. – Leesburg, Va.)
SS – Tom D’Alessandro, Cornell (Jr. – Dix Hills, N.Y.)
3B – Alex Flink, Princeton (Sr. – Dallas)
DH – Kevin Tatum, Cornell (So. – Woodbridge, Va.)
* Unanimous Selection
^ Due to ties in voting, the first team expanded to 17