Eli Trio Shines in Professional Ranks

Craig Breslow ’02 Leads American League with 44 Pitching Appearances

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – As the 2009 Major League Baseball season reached the All-Star Break this weekend, few players were in more need of the three-day hiatus than left-hander Craig Breslow ’02, a reliever for the Oakland Athletics. Breslow, who served as the ace of the Yale baseball team from 1999-2002 as well as the team captain as senior, shares the American League lead with 44 appearances on the hill. In 34.1 innings of work as a middle reliever, Breslow has notched eight holds, stranded 73% of inherited runners and earned his first career victory.

Breslow, a 2002 draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers, is in the midst of his eighth professional season and his fourth at the Major League level. After splitting 2008 between the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins, the southpaw was signed by the Athletics in May of 2009. Breslow started his Major League career with the San Diego Padres, and was a member of the Boston Red Sox organization during its 2007 World Series Championship season.

At the minor league level, 2008 Yale draftee Ryan Lavarnway, the 2007 NCAA Batting Champion, has continued to impress with his bat as a catcher and designated hitter for the Greenville (S.C.) Drive, the Boston Red Sox’ Class-A affiliate. Lavarnway is batting .265 in 57 games, with nine home runs and 35 runs batted in. The owner of a Yale and Ivy League record 23-game hitting streak, Lavarnway hit safely in 14 consecutive games for the Drive in May.

Yale’s most recent addition to the professional ranks, 2009 Ivy League Pitcher of the Year Brandon Josselyn ’09, has been impressive through his first five professional appearances with the Pulaski (Va.) Mariners of the rookie Appalachian League. Josselyn has tallied 13 strikeouts in 11.1 innings of work with a 3.18 earned run average. The hard-throwing right hander is 0-1, though he did not surrender a hit or an earned run while taking that loss on July 4, and chalked up his first career save with two hitless innings of work on July 8 against the Princeton (W.V.) Rays. Josselyn has not allowed an earned run in his last three appearances (6.1 innings).

Breslow, Lavarnway and Josselyn represent three of the 26 Yale baseball players to be drafted or sign professional contracts during the 17-year career of John Stuper as Mazzuto Family Head Coach for Baseball. At least one Bulldog has been drafted in each of the last five seasons.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity

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