May 5, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - John Stuper, the Mazzuto Family Head Coach for Baseball, has announced that the captain of the 2010 Yale baseball team will be pitcher Joe Castaldi. The announcement comes following a team vote at the annual year-end dinner on Friday evening.
Castaldi, a junior from Sunrise, Fla., went 0-5 last season with a 7.75 earned run average as a member of the weekend rotation. Despite his deceptive statistics, the right-hander was one of the Bulldogs' most effective hurlers, allowing three earned runs or fewer in eight of his twelve appearances and exiting with a lead on three occasions.
"Joe was one of our most consistent pitchers this year with not a whole lot to show for it," said Stuper of his new captain. "He battled the whole year and never complained. I think his character and competitiveness are the reasons he was voted captain by his teammates amongst a good group of candidates. He is an excellent choice".
"I am honored that my teammates have elected me as team captain," said Castaldi. [Outgoing captain] Stefan Schropp will be a tough act to follow, but I welcome the challenge. I look forward to a great season."
Stuper also took the opportunity to present year-end awards in recognition of several outstanding individual performances in the 2009 season. The G.H. Walker, Jr. Award, given to the Bulldogs' most valuable player, went to junior Trygg Larsson-Danforth. The first baseman started 36 games for Yale and led the Elis in batting average (.344), runs batted in (37), home runs (7), runs scored (27), slugging percentage (.573) and on-base percentage (.424). Coach Stuper highlighted several towering home runs by the 6'6 lefty, including a 460' blast at Towson on March 17.
Senior Brandon Josselyn took home the Raymond W. (Ducky) Pond Pitching Award, given annually to the pitcher "who has made the greatest contribution to the baseball team during his career at Yale and who best exemplifies the qualities and excellence of `Ducky' Pond". Josselyn, an Ivy League Pitcher of the Year candidate, had a breakout season in 2009, going 5-3 with a 4.29 earned run average, including a 3-1 mark against Ivy League competition. The right-hander struck out 51 batters on the season and held opponents to a .253 batting average.
Josselyn and fellow hurler Chris Walsh were also the recipients of the Martin I.J. Griffin Award, which was instituted last year by Joe Conway '80 and Fred Berg '66 in honor of their mentor, Martin I.J. Griffin. Mr. Berg was on-hand to present the award, which is given to the graduating senior who is the team's most outstanding scholar-athlete.
Stefan Schropp was one of the most decorated players of the evening, as he received two awards: The Burnat-Grass Teammate Award, given to the player "who best exemplifies the qualities of toughness, hard work, character and integrity, while putting the team above himself", and the Coaches' Award. Schropp batted .324 with three home runs and 28 runs batted in. The senior captain of the Bulldogs ended his career in style at Brown on April 26, hitting a home run in his final collegiate at-bat and ending his career on a 10-game hitting streak.
The David M. Darst Hustle Cup, presented to the freshman "who made the greatest contribution to the baseball team through desire, enthusiasm and hustle", went to Zach Tobolowsky and Eric Shultz. Tobolowsky batted .320 in 29 games, the highest batting average for a Yale freshman since 2004. He hit five home runs and racked up 18 RBI while playing right field, second base and third base for the Bulldogs. Shultz stepped in immediately as the Yale closer and went a perfect 3-for-3 in save opportunities. The 6'4 submariner went 2-3 with a 2.84 earned run average in addition to his three saves. Opponents hit just .172 against Shultz in 25.1 innings of work.
Sophomore Andy Megee received the Paul Sortal Award, which goes to the player who "maximizes his ability to the fullest." Megee batted .329 with 16 runs batted in while playing third base for the Bulldogs. He also moved into the starting rotation during the second half of the season, posting a 1-2 record with a 6.86 earned run average in 19.2 innings.
Yale went 13-24 in 2009 with a 7-13 Ivy League mark. The youngest team in the Ivy League in 2009, the 2010 Bulldogs are slated to return 10 position players that made 15 or more starts and nine pitchers that logged at least 11 innings.
report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity