PHILADELPHIA - Penn senior Paul Cusick was the most dominant pitcher in the Ivy League this year and was honored as such on Tuesday afternoon as he was named the Ivy League Pitcher of the Year. He also was one of a school-record tying five first-team selections and seven All-Ivy picks for the Red and Blue.
Cusick, Penn's first Pitcher of the Year honoree since 1995, was joined on the All-Ivy first team by senior catcher Will Davis, senior third baseman Dan Williams, sophomore outfielder Greg Zebrack and sophomore designated hitter Spencer Branigan. The five first-team selections are also the most for a Red and Blue squad since 1975. Senior outfielder Jeremy Maas was named to the second-team, while junior shortstop Derek Vigoa earned honorable mention.
Cusick was the Quakers' ace in 2011, winning a career-high five games and striking out 80 batters in 66.2 innings of work with a 2.70 ERA. He is also just the fourth Red and Blue player to win Pitcher of the Year honors, and the first since Ed Haughey in 1995. His 80 strikeouts are tied for the second highest single-season total in school history and the most since 1990. The righty was even better in league play, as he went at least 7.0 innings and didn't allow an earned run in three of his five starts while finishing with a 3-1 record and a 2.00 ERA. In Ivy contests he also led the league with 48 strikeouts, ten more than second-place Kyle Hendricks of Dartmouth. The senior finishes his career with an even 200 strikeouts, becoming just the fourth pitcher in school history to accomplish that feat.
Davis was an honorable mention selection a year ago, but made the leap to first team this year after directing the Quakers' offense and defense from behind the plate. He is the first Penn catcher since Ben Breier in 1992 to be named to the first team. The senior hit a career-best .304 with 31 runs, 16 doubles, six home runs and 27 RBI overall. He was even better in 20 league games, batting .368 with 25 hits, 20 runs, 15 RBI, nine doubles and four home runs. Davis was also second in the league with a .511 on-base percentage and threw out 11 runners during league play.
One of just three repeat first-team selections league wide, Williams earned his fourth consecutive All-Ivy honor in 2011. The third baseman was a rock at third, starting all 40 games there and committing just four errors in 118 chances. He also hit .288 with 44 hits, 29 runs, nine doubles three home runs and a team-best 29 RBI. Williams also stepped it up in league play, batting .333 and finishing second in the league with 18 RBI. He concludes his career as Penn's career leader in games (161), hits (204) and runs (138), and is third in doubles (42).
Zebrack, a sophomore transfer, made an immediate impact on the Quakers in his first season with the team. The California native was second on the team with a .336 average also led Penn in slugging (.596), on-base percentage (.449), runs (35), triples (7), home runs (7), total bases (87) and steals (9). In Ivy play he upped those numbers to a .372 average, .769 slugging and .462 on-base percentage, all of which ranked in the top four in the league. He also finished in the top four in hits, runs, triples, home runs, total bases and RBI.
Branigan earned All-ivy honors in 2011 in his first year as a full-time starter for the Red and Blue. The designated hitter and first baseman played in 37 contests, finishing with a .296 average, 26 runs, seven home runs and 23 RBI. The sophomore upped his average to .382 in Ivy play, good for second in the league, and also scored 14 games and drove in 14 runs while slugging .636. Branigan also had a pair of walk-off hits in 2011, highlighted by a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning against Columbia on the final day of the season.
Maas earned his second All-Ivy recognition after leading the team in hitting this year. The senior did a bit of everything for the Quakers, batting .369 with 52 hits, 28 runs, 23 RBI, nine doubles and five home runs. He was even better in pressure situations, batting .459 with runners on base and .438 with runners in scoring position. Maas also tied for the team lead with nine steals, had eight bunts for a base hit and had four outfield assists.
Penn's final All-Ivy selection, Vigoa earned his second All-Ivy honor in 2011 after being a second-team selection in 2009. The shortstop started all 40 games for the Red and Blue, batting .306 with 44 hits, 24 RBI, 22 runs and five doubles. In league play he upped his average to .347 with 13 RBI, ten runs and four doubles. Vigoa also only struck out eight times in 144 at bats in 2011.
The Quakers graduate six players in 2011, but still return 23 players to a team that finished 19-21 overall and 10-10 in the Ivy League for the second consecutive year.
Player of the Year
Sam Mulroy, Princeton (C/UT, Jr., Bethesda, Md.)
Pitcher of the Year
Paul Cusick, Penn (RHP, Sr., Wilmington, Del.)
Rookie of the Year
Mike Ford, Princeton (RHP/1B, Fr., Belle Mead, N.J.)
First Team All-Ivy (18^)
SP - Paul Cusick, Penn (Sr., Willmington, Del.)
SP - Vinny Lally, Yale (Sr., Tampa, Fla.)
SP - Kyle Hendricks, Dartmouth (Jr., San Juan Capistrano, Calif.)
SP - Cole Sulser, Dartmouth (Jr., Santa Ysabel, Calif.)
SP - Max Perlman, Harvard (Sr., Longwood, Fla.)
RP - Ryan Smith, Dartmouth (Sr., Greenlawn, N.Y.)
C - Will Davis, Penn (Sr., Atlanta, Ga.)
C - Sam Mulroy, Princeton (Jr., Bathesda, Md.)
1B - *Trey Rallis, Yale (Sr., La Canada, Calif.)
2B - Jeff Reynolds, Harvard (Jr., St. Petersburg, Fla.)
SS - Joe Sclafani, Dartmouth (Jr., Palm City, Fla.)
3B - Dan Williams, Penn (Sr., Southhampton, N.J.)
OF - Greg Zebrack, Penn (So., Northridge, Calif.)
OF - Dario Pizzano, Columbia (So., Saugus, Mass.)
OF - Jason Banos, Columbia (Sr., Linnfield, Mass.)
OF - Nick Cox, Columbia (Sr., Lake Mary, Fla.)
UT - Mickey Brodsky, Cornell (Sr., Encino, Calif.)
DH - Spencer Branigan, Penn (So., Ross, Calif.)
Second Team All-Ivy (15)
SP - Heath Mayo, Brown (So., Whitehouse, Texas)
SP - Mike Ford, Princeton (Fr., Belle Mead, N.J.)
SP - Kyle Hunter, Dartmouth (So., Palm City, Fla.)
RP - Tim Geil, Columbia (So., Gibsonia, Pa.)
RP - Kevin Fortunato, Yale (Fr., Wall, N.J.)
C - Matt Colantonio, Brown (Sr., Garden City, N.Y.)
1B - Mike Ford, Princeton (Fr., Bell Mead, N.J.)
2B - Jeff Onstott, Dartmouth (Sr., Houston, Texas)
SS - Matt Bowman, Princeton (So., Chevy Chase, Md.)
3B - Andy Megee, Yale (Sr., Los Angeles, Calif.)
OF - John Sheridan, Brown (So., Palo Alto, Calif.)
OF - Sam Bean, Dartmouth (Sr., Needham, Mass.)
OF - Jeremy Maas, Penn (Sr., Alpharetta, Ga.)
UT - Ennis Coble, Dartmouth (So., Atlanta, Ga.)
DH - Mike DiBiase, Brown (Jr., Weston, Mass.)
Honorable Mention (18)
SP - Stefan Olson, Columbia (So., Ladera Ranch, Calif.)
SP - Matthew Kimbell, Brown (Sr., Nashville, Tenn.)
SP - Jadd Scmeltzer, Cornell (Sr., Tappan, N.Y.)
SP - Zak Hermans, Princeton (So., Coppell, Texas)
SP - Brook Hart, Yale (Sr., State College, Pa.)
RP - Matt Grabowski, Princeton (Sr., Philadelphia, Pa.)
RP - A.J. Goetz, Princeton (Fr., Denver, Colo.)
C - Chris O'Dowd, Dartmouth (So., Cherry Hill Villiage, Colo.)
1B - Jason Brooks, Dartmouth (Sr., Westlake Villiage, Calif.)
2B - Alex Flink, Princeton (So., Dallas, Texas)
SS - Marshall Yanzick, Cornell (Jr., Beaverton, Ore.)
SS - Derek Vigoa, Penn (Jr., Miami, Fla.)
3B - Ryan Zrenda, Brown (Old Lime, Conn.)
OF - Brian Billigen, Cornell (Jr., Carnigie, Pa.)
OF - Cam Squires, Yale (So., Fort Wayne, Ind.)
UT - Sam Mulroy, Princeton (Jr., Bethesda, Md.)
DH - Alex Aurrichio, Columbia (Jr., Dix Hills, N.Y.)
UT - Marcus Way, Harvard (Jr., Naples, N.Y.)