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March 27, 2012

Baseball Weekly Release - Week 5

Photos courtesy of Penn Athletic Communications/Dennis Voiro and Columbia Sports Information/Media Relations

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Four weeks into the baseball season and the Lou Gehrig Division might consider itself the luckiest in the Ivy League, as three squads have a better winning percentage than the top team in the Red Rolfe Division. Cornell leads the way with a 12-4 record, followed by Penn (7-9) and Princeton (6-9). The current best team in the Red Rolfe Division is Yale, with a record of 6-13-1.

Penn moved into second-place in the Lou Gehrig Division thanks to a 3-1 week that saw the Quakers defeat Villanova, 6-3, and take two-of-three from Lafayette. Senior pitcher Vince Voiro (Cherry Hill, N.J.) and freshman pitcher Connor Cuff (Western Springs, Ill.) were instrumental in their teams’ success and have been named Ivy League Pitcher and Rookie of the Week, respectively. Columbia junior outfielder Dario Pizzano (Saugus, Mass.) batted .500 (8-of-16) in four games and was named Ivy League Player of the Week.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Pizzano hit safely in all four games last week, including three multi-hit contests. Stony Brook and Holy Cross pitchers were unable to strike out the junior outfielder, who recorded eight runs, two doubles, three RBI, two walks and a stolen base. He slugged .625 and finished with an on-base percentage of .556.

In a pair of one-run losses to Stony Brook, Pizzano batted 4-of-8 (.500) with five runs, a double and two RBI. Columbia then ended a four-game losing streak with a 6-0 shutout of the Crusaders, thanks in no small part to Pizzano, who went 3-for-4 with two runs, a double and a stolen base. He then closed out his week by reaching base twice against Holy Cross in five at bats and scoring a run in a 3-1 victory for the Lions. Pizzano received his second Ivy League Player of the Week award of his career and his first since his rookie season, when he also was twice named Rookie of the Week.

Pizzano’s Weekly Stats
4 GP, .500 AVG (8-of-16), .625 Slugging %, .556 OBP, 2BB, 8 Runs, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 1SB

PITCHER OF THE WEEK
It was déjà vu all over again for Voiro, who earned his second Pitcher of the Week award in three weeks thanks to his second nine-inning complete game victory in three weeks. Voiro went the distance in a 2-0 win over Lafayette, setting down the side on five occasions and finishing with 10 strikeouts and no walks.

Lafayette loaded the bases in the seventh with just one out, but Voiro buckled down and struck out the next two batters to escape, before shutting down the Leopards in the eighth and ninth to pick up his team-leading third win of the season. Voiro was also named Pitcher of the Week on March 13 after recording a complete-game, nine-inning win over Northeastern.

Voiro’s Weekly Stats
1 APP, 1 GS, 1 CG, 9.0 IP, 5 Hits, 10K, 0.00 ERA, 1-0

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Most pitchers who take a break from their normal starting duties will throw an inning or two here and there, but not Cuff. The freshman righthander came out of the bullpen to pitch four strong innings as the Quakers defeated Villanova, 6-3. Cuff came on in the sixth inning with the game tied at two. He then struck out eight Wildcats while giving up just one run en route to his first career collegiate victory. Three days later, Cuff again came out of the pen in the Quakers’ 9-8 win over Lafayette, striking out two over 1.1 innings to help send the game to extra winnings where Penn won in the bottom of the 11th.

Cuff’s Weekly Stats
2 APP, 5.1 IP, 2 Hits, 3BB, 10 K, 1.69 ERA, 1-0

HONOR ROLL
Pat Lowery, Columbia, Sr., RHP (Oakdale, Conn.)
1 APP, 1 GS, 1 CG, 7.0 IP, 4 Hits, 7K, 0.00 ERA, 1-0

Mitch Horacek, Dartmouth, So., LHP (Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
1 APP, 1 GS, 7.0 IP, 11 hits, 7K, 3.86 ERA, 0-0

Spencer Branigan, Penn, Jr., 1B (Ross, Calif.)
4 GP, .429 AVG (6-of-14), .786 Slugging %, .579 OBP, 4BB, 3 Runs, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SB

Alex Keller, Princeton, So., IF/OF (Richmond, Va.)
5 GP, .391 AVG (9-of-23), .417 OBP, 1 BB, 5 Runs, 5 RBI, 1 SB

Brian Billigen, Cornell, Sr., OF (Carnegie, Pa.)
5 GP, .471 AVG (8-of-17), .588 Slugging %, .571 OBP, 2 BB, 6 Runs, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 2 SB

Joe Sclafani, Dartmouth, Sr., SS (Palm City, Fla.)
5 GP, .412 AVG (7-of-17), .588 Slugging %, .524 OBP, 4 BB, 4 Runs, 3 2B, 2 RBI, 1 SB

Ethan Ferreira, Harvard, Fr., C (Rehoboth, Mass.)
4 GP, .375 AVG (3-of-8), .875 Slugging %, .500 OBP, 2BB, 1 Run, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI

Brent Jones, Cornell, Fr., RHP (Albuquerque, N.M.)
1 APP, 1 GS, 1 CG, 7.0 IP, 3 Hits, 1BB, 8K, 1.29 ERA, 1-0

Nick Lombardi, Dartmouth, Fr., IF (Saugus, Calif.)
5 GP, .300 AVG (6-of-20), .400 Slugging %, 2 Runs, 2 2B, 5 RBI, 1 SB

David Spinosa, Columbia, Fr., RHP (Charlottesville, Va.)
2 APP, 3.2 IP, 2 Hits, 6K, 2.45 ERA, 0-1, 1 Sv.

Wes Van Boom, Brown, So., C (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.)
4 GP, .444 AVG (8-of-18), .833 Slugging %, 3 Runs, 4 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI

2012 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
March 6 - Brian Billigen (Cornell)
March 13 – Kevin Fortunato (Yale)
March 20 – Sam Mulroy (Princeton)
March 27 – Dario Pizzano (Columbia)

2012 PITCHERS OF THE WEEK
March 6 – Zak Hermans (Princeton)
March 13 – Vince Voiro (Penn)
March 20 – Stefan Olson (Columbia)
March 27 – Vince Voiro (Penn)

2012 ROOKIES OF THE WEEK
March 6 – Matt Robinson (Dartmouth)
March 13 – David Toups (Yale)
March 20 – Tyler Servais (Princeton)
March 27 – Connor Cuff (Penn)

2012 HONOR ROLLS
March 6 – Nick Ferraresi (Columbia), Kevin Fortunato (Yale), Brent Jones (Cornell), Jeff Keller (Dartmouth), Pat Ludwig (Yale), Will Marcal (Brown), Jordan Serena (Columbia), Kevin Tatum (Cornell), Zack Tax (Columbia)

March 13 – Brian Billigen (Cornell), Austin Bossart (Penn), Ryan Deitrich (Penn), Matt Doyle (Harvard), Brent Jones (Cornell), Christopher O'Hare (Yale), Robb Paller (Columbia), Billy Rumpke (Columbia), David Speer (Columbia)

March 20 – Carlton Bailey (Harvard), Zach Boden (Harvard), Austin Bossart (Penn), Chris Cruz (Cornell), Cale Hanson (Yale), Mitch Horacek (Dartmouth), Brent Jones (Cornell), Pat Ludwig (Yale), Thomas Roulis (Dartmouth), Billy Rumpke (Columbia), John Sheridan (Brown), David Turnbull (Dartmouth), Derek Vigoa (Penn), Vince Voiro (Penn), Taylor Wright (Brown)

March 27 – Brian Billigen (Cornell), Spencer Branigan (Penn), Ethan Ferreira (Harvard), Mitch Horacek (Dartmouth), Brent Jones (Cornell), Alex Keller (Princeton), Nick Lombardi (Dartmouth), Pat Lawery (Columbia), Joe Sclafani (Dartmouth), David Spinosa (Columbia), Wes Van Boom (Brown)

NOTES
League-Opener
The battle for the League title will begin this weekend, when all eight teams will play back-to-back double-headers against each other. On March 31, Cornell will host Harvard, Penn will take on Brown, Princeton will face Dartmouth and Columbia will square off against Yale. On April 1, Columbia will face Brown, Yale will travel to take on Penn, Harvard will square off against Princeton and Dartmouth will play Cornell.

Madness
College Sports Madness also picks an Ivy League Baseball Player of the Week. Cornell senior Brian Billigen has received the award twice (March 5, March 12), while Princeton’s Sam Mulroy (March 19) and Penn’s Vince Voiro (March 26) have each been named once.

Ivy League Championship Series History
Beginning in 1993, the Ivy League champion, and NCAA Championship automatic qualifier, was determined by a three-game series played between the winners of the Rolfe and Gehrig Divisions.

All eight Ivy teams have won at least one League title since 1993. Princeton (seven) and Harvard (four) have combined to win 11 of the 19 Championship Series. Princeton is looking to become the first repeat Champion since it accomplished the feat in 2003-2004.

Championship Series Standings

Team App. W-L Pct. First App. Last App. Titles (Last)
Brown 1 2-0 1.000 2007 2007 1 (2007)
Columbia 3 3-5 0.375 1993 2010 1 (2008)
Cornell 2 1-4 0.200 2005 2009 1 (2009)
Dartmouth 7 7-12 0.368 2000 2011 2 (2010)
Harvard 8 10-8 0.556 1996 2006 4 (2005)
Penn 3 3-4 0.429 1994 2007 1 (1995)
Princeton 11 15-13 0.536 1996 2011 7 (2011)
Yale 2 4-1 0.800 1993 1994 2 (1994)


Gone Streaking
Hitting
Player, Team                     Longest    Current
Brian Billigen, Cornell         14           14
Marshall Yanzick, Cornell    14           --

Reached Base
Player, Team                     Longest    Current
Cale Hanson, Yale              15           15
Brian Billigen, Cornell         14           14
Marshall Yanzick, Cornell    14           --

National Rankings
Cornell holds the fourth-highest team batting average in the nation, as the Big Red is hitting at a .335 clip. Cornell also ranks ninth in the country in scoring, with 7.9 runs per game.

Individually, Princeton’s Alec Keller (.439) and Cornell’s Brian Billigen (.433) rank 14th and 17th in the country in batting average, respectively. On the mound, Cornell’s Brent Jones is one of 10 pitchers with three complete games, which ranks first nationally, and Penn’s Vince Voiro is tied for second with two complete games.