Piwinski Elected 2013 Captain; Hanson, Brenner Share 2012 MVP

Chris Piwinski. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Chris Piwinski. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Brenner, Lyons Take Home Multiple Awards during Year-End Banquet


NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Yale University baseball team celebrated its year-end banquet on Monday, electing third baseman Chris Piwinski (Folsom, Calif.) as captain for the 2013 season while also honoring seven players with team awards.

"Chris is a great choice for captain," Yale head coach John Stuper said. "Since his sophomore year he has shown excellent leadership qualities."

Piwinski also received the Paul Sortal Award, which goes to the player who makes the most of his ability.

Sophomore shortstop Cale Hanson (Katy, Texas) and senior catcher Ryan Brenner (Manhasset, N.Y.), the team's captain in 2012, shared the G.H. Walker, Jr. Award as the team's Most Valuable Players during the 2012 season. Hanson led the Bulldogs in hitting, posting a .340 batting average, while also posting team-highs in on-base percentage (.412), total hits (55), walks (19), and stolen bases (11) while starting all 45 games (39 at shortstop and 6 at center field). Hanson also recorded a streak of 34 straight games in which he reached base, the longest such streak in the Ivy League this season.

Brenner, the starting catcher in 44 of the Bulldogs' 45 games in 2012, was the team's leadoff hitter in 29 of those games and led the Bulldogs in runs scored (26). He finished second on the team in on-base percentage (.390) and stolen bases (6), third in hitting (.288), total hits (44), doubles (8), and walks, and fifth in slugging (.340).

"Cale was consistently excellent this year on both sides of the ball. I look for even better things from him next year," Stuper said. "Ryan was as fine a captain as I have had here. He helped keep this team playing hard through a very tough season."

Brenner took home a total of three awards at the banquet. Brenner was honored with the Coach's Award, which is given to the player who desires team unity above all else. Brenner was also a co-recipient of the Burnat-Grass Teammate Award with fellow senior Greg Lyons (Dallas, Texas). The award is given to the player or players "who best exemplifies the qualities of toughness, hard work, character and integrity, while putting the team above himself." The award is named after former Yale baseball players Kyle Burnat '05 and Nick Grass '05.

David Toups (Houston, Texas) was given the David M. Darst Hustle Cup (Rookie of the Year), which is presented to the freshman "who made the greatest contribution to the baseball team through desire, enthusiasm and hustle." Toups finished second on the team in hitting with a .306 batting average. He was also second in hits (45), third in slugging (.374), on-base percentage (.363), total bases (55) and fourth in RBIs (15).

Seniors Pat Ludwig (Okemos, Mich.) and Eric Shultz (Beverly Hills, Calif.) shared the Ducky Pond Pitching Award, a career award for pitching excellence and character.

Ludwig led the team in strikeouts (64), strikeouts looking (23), earned run average (2.73), and innings pitched (62.2). He led the Ivy League in strikeouts and strikeouts looking and was fourth in ERA, third in innings pitched and eighth in opposing batting average (.256).

Shultz set a Yale single-season record for appearances with 25, which led the Ivy League in 2012 and was second all-time in Ivy League history. Shultz also set a new record at Yale and in the Ivy League for career appearances with 73.

"Eric was just so durable. He never turned down the ball. He was very, very competitive," Stuper said. "Pat was excellent all year. I am excited to hear his name called in the June draft. He has worked extremely hard for his chance."

Lyons was also honored with the Martin Griffin Award, which was instituted two years ago by Joe Conway '80 and Fred Berg '66 in honor of their mentor, Martin I.J. Griffin. The award is given to the graduating senior who is the team's most outstanding scholar-athlete. Lyons, a Political Science major, holds a 3.81 grade point average.

The entire senior class of Brenner, Lyons, Shultz, Ludwig and Charlie Neil (Dallas, Texas) was commended for their excellence in the classroom.

"The five seniors had an average GPA of 3.54," Stuper said. "They are the embodiment of the true student athlete."

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity