Photos courtesy of Columbia Sports Information/Media Relations and Princeton Athletic Communications
PRINCETON, N.J. -- After a regular season that saw playoffs decide each division for the first time in Ivy League baseball history, it is fitting that the postseason awards are filled with firsts as well.
Based on the votes from the League's eight coaches, Princeton senior utility Alec Keller (Richmond, Va.) is the Player of the Year, Columbia senior lefty David Speer (Westport, Conn.) is the unanimous Pitcher of the Year and Lions freshman second baseman Will Savage (Bronx, N.Y.) is the Rookie of the Year.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Prior to 2013, Princeton had never earned Player of the Year. Now the Tigers have received the award twice in as many years, as Keller joins last year's recipient, Mike Ford.
Keller posted the second-best batting average in the League this season, hitting .327 (48-for-147) with 20 runs, eight doubles, four triples, two home runs and 19 RBI. He also tied for first in triples, was second in on base percentage (.396) and tied for second in hits. Keller raised the level of his game in Ivy play, hitting .364 (24-for-66) with six runs, four doubles, one triple, two home runs and 11 RBI.
Keller gives the Tigers back-to-back Player of the Year honors for the first time in program history. He also was named first-team All-Ivy for the third-straight year, the third Tiger to accomplish the feat, joining Bob Schiffner (1969-71) and Dan Arendas (1984-96) and the first Ivy to do so since Columbia's Dario Pizzano (2010-12).
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Speer is the first unanimous choice for Pitcher of the Year since Harvard's Trey Hendricks in 2004. Speer closed out his regular season with back-to-back complete game shutouts and then made it three in a row when Columbia needed it most, going the distance in a nine-inning, 4-0 win in the one-game playoff against Penn that advanced the Lions to the Championship Series. There, Speer got the start in game one and threw eight innings of six-hit ball in a 6-2 victory as the Lions also claimed game two to clinch their second-straight NCAA Tournament berth.
Speer finished the season with a 7-2 record, 69 strikeouts and a 2.02 ERA. He pitched a League-best 80 innings and was second in strikeouts, third in ERA and sixth in opposing batter average (.231). In Ivy play, Speer went 4-0 with four complete games and three shutouts, striking out 32 and posting a 1.06 ERA. It marks the fifth time that a Lion was voted Pitcher of the Year and the first since Pat Lowery in 2010.
Speer was also a unanimous selection for first-team All-Ivy, the first to be unanimously chosen in back-to-back years since Princeton's Thomas Pauly (2002-03).
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Savage did not play like a rookie, leading the League in batting average in Ivy play (.414), en route to winning the Charles H. Blair award, which goes to the player with the best batting average in conference action. He is the third Lion to be named Rookie of the Year, joining Nick Cox (2008) and Pizzano (2010), and the second Blair Bat winner to come from Columbia in the past three years (Jon Eisen, 2012).
Savage finished with 46 hits, 25 runs, six doubles, one triple, one home run, 14 RBI and 14 stolen bases. In Ivy play, not only did he post the best average, he also led the conference in hits (29) and on base percentage (.440) and tied for the lead in runs (17). He was the lone freshman to earn first-team All-Ivy honors and the first Lion to do so since Pizzano in 2010.
Speer and Savage's awards mark the third time in Columbia program history, and the first since 2010, the Lions took home two of the three major postseason awards.
FIRST TEAM ALL-IVY
The two teams that tied for first in the Gehrig Division – Penn and Columbia – led the way with four first-team All-Ivy performers apiece.
Joining Savage and Speer on the first team were junior third baseman David Vandercook (Boca Raton, Fla.) and junior outfielder Gus Craig (Eugene, Ore.), who each received their first career All-Ivy accolades. Vandercook tied for the League-lead with 33 RBI and tied for second with 14 doubles, while Craig tied for fourth in the conference with a .489 slugging percentage, thanks to 10 doubles, three triples (tied-third in the League) and five home runs (tied-fifth).
Penn was represented on the first team by junior pitcher Connor Cuff (Western Springs, Ill.), junior catcher Austin Bossart (O'Fallon, Ill.), sophomore shortstop Ryan Mincher (Glenshaw, Pa.) and senior outfielder Rick Brebner (Langhorne, Pa.) The four first-team All-Ivy performers is the Quakers' highest single-season total since 2011, when five made the cut.
Cuff led the Penn pitching staff, going 5-3 with an Ivy-best 1.77 ERA. He pitched 66.0 innings, including five complete games and three shutouts, while striking out 49. He earned his first career All-Ivy honor. Bossart is named to the first team for the first time in his career after receiving honorable mention status in 2012 and 2013. He batted a career-high .297 (47-for-158) while setting personal-bests in doubles (nine) and home runs (four).
Mincher took home his first All-Ivy honor after a season in which he recorded 43 hits, 21 walks, 19 runs, 10 doubles, four home runs and 24 RBI. Brebner was named first team for the second-straight year. He batted .285 (43-for-151) with 33 runs, 10 doubles, one triple, eight home runs and 31 RBI, finishing second in the League in runs and home runs and fourth in RBI.
Tigers senior pitcher Mike Fagan (San Diego) received his first career All-Ivy award, joining. It marks the third-straight season that Princeton placed at least two on the All-Ivy first team. Fagan led the Tigers with a 2.33 ERA and four wins, striking out a League-best 77 in 58.0 innings of work.
Rolfe Division champion Dartmouth placed two on the first team in sophomore reliever Duncan Robinson (Houston) and senior first baseman Dustin Selzer (Houston). Robinson made 16 appearances and tied for the League-lead with seven wins, going 7-3 with a 2.96 ERA. He took home his first career All-Ivy honor. Selzer earned his second first-team All-Ivy accolade and first since 2012, batting .294 (35-for-119) with 12 runs, seven doubles, two home runs and 22 RBI. He also posted a .997 fielding percentage at first base, with just one error in 378 chances.
Cornell, Harvard and Yale each placed one on the first team. Big Red junior Ryan Karl (Towaco, N.J.) was a unanimous choice as a designated hitter after leading the team with a .280 average (40-for-143) with 10 doubles, nine home runs, a .552 slugging percentage and 32 RBI. The Louisville transfer led the League in home runs and slugging percentage and finished third in RBI.
Crimson junior outfielder Mike Martin (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) is the first Harvard player to earn first team honors since Jeff Reynolds in 2012. Martin was second on the team with a .304 average (45-for-148) while recording 22 runs, six doubles, two triples, one home run and 12 RBI. He also posted a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage from his outfield position.
Bulldogs senior Cale Hanson (Katy, Texas) earned a pair of All-Ivy honors, as he was named first team as a shortstop and second team as a reliever. Hanson batted .265 (39-for-147) with 26 runs, seven doubles, one triple and 10 RBI. In 15 appearances on the mount, he went 3-1 with 10 strikeouts in 15 innings of work. Hanson was honorable mention reliever in 2013 and second-team All-Ivy utility in 2012.
Brown was represented on the All-Ivy teams by senior outfielder Daniel Massey (Greensboro, N.C.), who was named honorable mention for his first career postseason award. Massey tied for the team lead in batting average (.296) and doubles (nine) while leading Brown with 21 RBI and a .530 slugging percentage.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Alec Keller, Princeton (Sr., UTL – Richmond, Va.)
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
*David Speer, Columbia (Sr., LHP – Westport, Conn.)
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Will Savage, Columbia (Fr., 2B – Bronx, N.Y.)
FIRST TEAM ALL-IVY^
P – Connor Cuff, Penn (Jr. – Western Springs, Ill.)
P – Mike Fagan, Princeton (Sr. – San Diego)
*P – David Speer, Columbia (Sr. – Westport, Conn.)
RP – Duncan Robinson, Dartmouth (So. – Houston)
C – Austin Bossart, Penn (Jr. – O'Fallon, Ill.)
1B – Dustin Selzer, Dartmouth (Sr. – Houston)
2B – Will Savage, Columbia (Fr. – Bronx, N.Y.)
SS – Cale Hanson, Yale (Sr. – Katy, Texas)
SS – Ryan Mincher, Penn (So. – Glenshaw, Pa.)
3B – David Vandercook, Columbia (Jr. – Boca Raton, Fla.)
OF – Rick Brebner, Penn (Sr. – Langhorne, Pa.)
OF – Gus Craig, Columbia (Jr. – Eugene, Ore.)
OF – Mike Martin, Harvard (Jr. – Buffalo Grove, Ill.)
UTL – Alec Keller, Princeton (Sr. – Richmond, Va.)
*DH – Ryan Karl, Cornell (Jr. – Towaco, N.J.)
SECOND TEAM ALL-IVY^
P – Michael Byrne, Cornell (So. – Vienna, Va.)
P – Chris Lanham, Yale (So. – Houston)
P – George Thanopoulos, Columbia (So. – Highland, Calif.)
RP – Cale Hanson, Yale (Sr. – Katy, Texas)
C – Mike Fischer, Columbia (Sr. – Scotia, N.Y.)
1B – Jeff McGarry, Penn (Jr. – Mount Laurel, N.J.)
2B – Mike Vilardo, Penn (So. – Cary, Ill.)
SS – Aaron Silbar, Columbia (Sr. – Jacksonville, Fla.)
3B – Nick Lombardi, Dartmouth (Jr. – Saugus, Calif.)
OF – Jeff Keller, Dartmouth (Sr. – Atherton, Calif.)
OF – Robb Paller, Columbia (So. – Brooklyn, N.Y.)
OF – Jordan Serena, Columbia (Jr. – Parker, Colo.)
UTL – Carlton Bailey, Harvard (Sr. – Texarkana, Texas)
UTL – Richard Slenker, Yale (Fr. – Pound Ridge, N.Y.)
DH – Joe Purritano, Dartmouth (So. – Woodcliff Lake, N.J.)
HONORABLE MENTION ALL-IVY
P – Jake Cousins, Penn (Fr. – West Chicago, Ill.)
P – Ronnie Glenn, Penn (Jr. – Lake Worth, Fla.)
P – Brent Jones, Cornell (Jr. – Albuquerque, N.M.)
P – Kevin Roy, Columbia (So. – Houston)
RP – Adam Cline, Columbia (So. – Redmond, Wash.)
RP – Chris Moates, Yale (So. – Smithville, Ga.)
C – Robert Baldwin, Yale (Jr. – Austin, Texas)
1B – Zack Belski, Princeton (Fr. – Missouri City, Texas)
1B – Ryan Plantier, Cornell (Sr. – Poway, Calif.)
2B – Kyle Larrow, Harvard (Sr. – Carver, Mass.)
2B – Thomas Roulis, Dartmouth (Jr. – New Hyde Park, N.Y.)
SS – Tom D'Alessandro, Cornell (Sr. – Dix Hills, N.Y.)
SS – Matt Parisi, Dartmouth (Jr. – Clermont, Fla.)
OF – Chris Cruz, Cornell (Sr. – Bay Shore, N.Y.)
OF – Brandon Engelhardt, Penn (Sr. – Pottstown, Pa.)
OF – Daniel Massey, Brown (Sr. – Greensboro, N.C.)
OF – Nick Ruppert, Dartmouth (So. – La Mesa, Calif.)
OF – Jordan Winawer, Cornell (So. – Mountain View, Calif.)
* Unanimous Selection
^ Expanded due to ties in the voting