LYNN, MA (July 14, 2009) – Six players, including a league-high four starters and the designated closer, will represent the North Shore Navigators in the 2009 NECBL All Star Game. First baseman Ben Waldrip, second baseman Patrick Brady, outfielder Tre Dennis, and pitcher Mike Gallo will start at their respective positions for the NECBL East Division All Star Team, while Chris Kowalski will be the designated closer and Jeff Tardiff will pitch in relief.
The 2009 NECBL All Star Game will be played on Saturday, July 18, at MacKenzie Stadium in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The Navigators moved from Holyoke to Lynn for the 2008 season, after playing their home games at MacKenzie Stadium as the Holyoke Giants for three years.
Ben Waldrip, out of Saint Anselm College, recently completed his freshman season, in which he hit .394 with three home runs and 27 RBI and earned Northeast-10 All-Rookie Team honors. Waldrip, a 6’6’’ first baseman from Medford, MA, is hitting .309 with one home run and 11 RBI with the Navigators. Most memorably, Waldrip hit a game-tying two-run home run in the ninth inning at Lowell on June 28 before providing the go-ahead RBI single in the 11th inning.
Patrick Brady, the second baseman from Lexington, Kentucky, will enter his senior year at Bellarmine University this fall. Brady, who was the 2008 Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year, is in the top three in the NECBL in hits and total bases. He is hitting at an astounding .354 clip and leads the Navigators with two home runs and 19 RBI. Brady has tallied 10 multi-hit games, and earned NECBL Player of the Week honors from June 4 – June 14.
Tre Dennis, the Chula Vista, California native out of Long Beach State University, has started each game this season for North Shore as the center-fielder and the lead-off hitter. Dennis has currently hit safely in his last 16 games, raising his batting average to .311 this season with eight RBI. Dennis leads the Navigators with 24 runs scored, 17 walks, a .416 on-base percentage, and 11 stolen bases. Dennis is tied for the NECBL lead in runs scored as well.
Mike Gallo returned to the Navigators after helping the 2008 team to a 26-16 record and a playoff berth in their inaugural season in Lynn. Gallo’s first start in 2009 was record-shattering, as the hard-throwing righty from Milligan College and Peabody, MA struck out a franchise-high 15 batters against the Manchester Silkworms. Gallo, who is 3-1 with a 1.39 ERA to lead all North Shore starting pitchers, will get the start for the NECBL East Division All Star Team.
Chris Kowalski, the Boston College product out of Dorchester, MA, earned the designated closer role for the East Division by leading the NECBL in saves through the first half of the season. Kowalski is 1-1 with a 0.98 ERA in 15 appearances this season, and is currently tied for the league lead with six saves. Kowalski, who threw 3.1 scoreless innings in Boston College’s 25-inning marathon loss to Texas, has allowed only one earned run since opening night on June 4.
Jeff Tardiff, the strikeout leader on the North Shore Navigators pitching staff, will be a middle inning pitcher in the All Star Game. Tardiff, a Framingham, MA native out of Le Moyne College, is fourth in the NECBL with 37 strikeouts in 38.0 innings, in which Tardiff is 3-2 with a 1.42 ERA. Tardiff was also selected to play on the 28-man NECBL All Star Team, which lost 5-2 against the USA Baseball National Team on July 5 in Manchester, New Hampshire.