Aug. 15, 2007
NEW HAVEN, Conn.--With summer nearing an end, a majority of the college summer leagues have come to a close. Several Yale baseball players spent their summers playing in these leagues, and a number of Bulldogs found success with and against the wood bats.
Coming off his breakout sophomore season, the adjustment to wood didn't phase Ryan Lavarnway. Lavarnway played for the Manchester Silkworms of the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) and led the team with a .313 batting average. He also belted three home runs and 11 doubles while smacking 42 hits. Lavarnway drove in 22 runs and scored 23. Starting 40 games behind the plate, he made just two errors and had a solid fielding percentage of .992. Lavarnway put together a 20-game hit streak to start the season and was named to the NECBL All-Star team.
Another All-Ivy performer who had no problem switching from aluminum to wood was Josh Cox. Cox played for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots in the Alaska League. He hit .267 with one home run and 11 RBIs in 25 games. Cox, who swiped 24 bases for the Bulldogs in 2007, was 9-for-11 in stolen base attempts.
Pitcher Steve Gilman, the 2008 Yale captain, was also a member of the Glacier Pilots. He made five appearances, including one start before being sidelined for the rest of the summer with an injury.
Chris Walsh made 15 appearances on the mound for the Monroe Channelcats in the Southern Collegiate League. Walsh tossed 22.1 innings, going 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA. He also registered a save. Walsh struck out 19 opposing hitters while yielding just 10 walks, 21 hits and nine earned runs.
The Bulldogs' closer Brian Irving, a Hamden, Conn., native, stayed local, playing in the West Haven Twilight League. He made eight starts for O'Keefe's Baseball Academy, going 3-4 with a 2.23 ERA. Irving hurled three complete games and surrendered just 30 hits and 15 earned runs in 47 innings. He struck out 67 while walking 25, and held opposing hitters to a .173 batting average.
The Bulldogs host the annual Fall City Series at Yale Field at the end of September. Quinnipiac is the defending champions in the event, which also includes Southern Connecticut and the University of New Haven.
Report filed by Joe Clifford, Yale Sports Publicity