2013 Ivy League Preview

  Conference Overall
Columbia 12 8 21 24
*Cornell 14 6 31 17
Princeton 13 7 20 19
Pennsylvania 8 12 17 23
  Conference Overall
Dartmouth 14 6 24 18
Harvard 8 12 12 30
Brown 6 14 9 35
Yale 5 15 13 31
*2012 conference championTeams in bold are 2012 NCAA tournament participants. Teams are listed in order of predicted finish. Records listed are from 2012 season.
Projected NCAA Teams (1): Dartmouth.
Conference Schedule: 20 games, begins March 30.
Conference Tournament: Best of three series between division winners, May 4-5 at site of team with better conference record.
Player of the Year: Alec Keller, of, Princeton.
Pitcher of the Year: Tim Giel, rhp, Columbia.


1. Zak Hermans, rhp, Princeton
2. David Hickey, lhp, Yale
3. Thomas Roulis, 2b, Dartmouth (2014)
4. Alec Keller, of, Princeton
5. Tyler Servais, c, Princeton (2014)
1. Danny Hoy, 2b, Princeton (HS--Fort Washington, Pa.)
2. Joe Purritano, 1b, Dartmouth (HS--Ramsey, N.J.)
3. Jeremy Witt, rhp, Pennsylvania (HS--Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.)




Cornell, Princeton and Columbia were separated by just two games atop the Gehrig Division last season, and the race should be tight between those three again in 2013. Columbia’s hopes rest on the strength of its weekend rotation, led by a pair of seniors in RHPs Tim Giel (3-3, 3.83) and Stefan Olson (4-5, 3.65). Giel can pitch to both sides of the plate with his fastball and has the breaking stuff to put hitters away once he gets ahead, while the lanky, 6-foot-5 Olson boasts the Ivy’s best changeup, helping his fastball play up. The Lions are also counting on So. RHP David Spinosa (1-5, 4.82), who struck out 26 hitters in 28 innings out of the bullpen as a freshman. He’ll move into the rotation this spring, and the Lions believe his quality fastball-slider mix should translate well to a starting role. Another name to watch on the Lions’ staff is Jr. RHP Joey Donino, who’s been limited by injuries his first two years but had a breakout summer in 2012 in the Cal Ripken League, ranking as its No. 10 prospect. He needs to tighten his control, but Donino is the Lions’ best pro prospect with a physical frame and an 88-91 mph fastball.

Princeton returns the reigning Ivy League pitcher of the year in Sr. RHP Zak Hermans (6-2, 3.00), though the competition to fill out the rest of the weekend rotation will continue through the early weeks of the season. The good news is there should be no shortage of candidates, including Jr. RHP Mike Ford (4-4, 3.60) and Sr. RHP Kevin Link (3-3, 5.73), who both got starting experience last year, and promising Fr. RHP Luke Strieber, who comes in with a lively fastball and advanced feel for his secondary stuff. The Tigers’ lineup offers a nice blend of talent and experience, but the star is Jr. OF Alec Keller (.346/.393/.390), one of the Ivy’s best pure hitters. Keller comes in off leading the Hawaii Collegiate League with a .420 average last summer, and the Tigers believe the speedy center fielder should start showing some more power after not homering at all last season.

Dartmouth has owned the Rolfe Division, winning five straight division titles, and the Big Green remains the big favorite. The lineup returns three of its top four hitters from an offense that led the Ivy in team average (.298) and finished second in runs per game (6.17) a year ago. Jr. OF Jeff Keller (.352/.436/.541) and Jr. 1B Dustin Selzer (.324/.414/.535) were Dartmouth’s top home run hitters in 2012 with five each and should now be the lineup’s cornerstones following the departure of OF Jake Carlson, last year’s Ivy League batting champ. One of the keys to making up for Carlson’s production could be switch-hitting So. 2B Thomas Roulis. Roulis hit just .257/.335/.349 as a freshman but had a standout summer in the Atlantic Collegiate League. He doesn’t offer much power, but Roulis hits hard line drives consistently and has the hands and agility to stick as a middle infielder at the pro level. Sr. RHP Cole Sulser, an all-conference selection in 2011 who missed last season after Tommy John surgery, returns to the mound to lead a veteran rotation.

• The Ivy’s lone coaching change for 2013 was made under tragic circumstances, as Harvard head coach Joe Walsh died of a heart attack last July at age 58. Walsh had helmed the Crimson for 17 seasons, leading them to five Ivy League championships, including three straight from 1997-99. To replace Walsh, Harvard tabbed longtime Trinity (Conn.) head coach Bill Decker in September. Decker’s resume is lengthy, including the 2008 NCAA Division III national championship at Trinity and a 529-231 career record.