A day after the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, two Webster University baseball players became all-stars in the New York Collegiate Baseball League (NYCBL).
On July 11, senior pitcher Steven Dooley and senior outfielder Cody Stevenson started the annual All-Star Game for the NYCBL’s West team. Both Webster players play for the Hornell Dodgers.
The NYCBL is a 12-team development league for professional baseball. College players from across the NCAA ranging from Division I to junior college sign up to play in this summer league. There is a 40-game schedule and a playoff in August.
Dooley started the game for the West team, pitching one inning, surrendering one hit and striking out one.
“My adrenaline was definitely far up there,” Dooley said. “I knew there were scouts behind the plate. I mean I wanted to impress them, but I also wanted to impress my other teammates I was playing with. The hitters that I faced were very big guys, so I knew I had to be at the top of my game if I wanted to do well.”
The right-hander, who won six games in 2011 for Webster both starting and coming out of the bullpen, said his coach, Tony Fuller, told him about a week before the game that he was selected to play.
“I was pretty excited,” Dooley said. “I didn’t really think I was going to make it because my last start (June 29) wasn’t very good. Even with the last start, my numbers were still pretty good compared to everyone else’s. I was very excited to make it. It was a good experience to be elected. There are a lot of good players in this league.”
So far on the season, Dooley is 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA in seven games pitched (four starts) for Hornell. He also had 28 strikeouts in 31 innings. His best start of the summer to this point was on June 23 when he went 7 2/3 innings, giving up 1 unearned run on 1 hit and striking out six versus walking one in a no-decision.
Stevenson started the All-Star game in center field and played 5 innings. He went 1 for 4 with a run scored in a 4-3 defeat to the East. The senior center fielder said he felt privileged to make the team.
“I was shocked and excited at the same time,” Stevenson said. “I felt like I kind of deserved it because I had a good tear going on there for a while — I was a tough out. After being told I was, I felt accomplished. It was almost like a dream come true, you could say.”
Stevenson is currently hitting .334 with 14 RBIs in 96 at-bats. On June 28, Stevenson had a 4-hit game with two runs scored and two triples along with a stolen base.
“It was great being able to say I was a part of that,” Stevenson said. “I was nervous — don’t get me wrong.”
Webster sophomore pitcher Isaac Behme is also playing in the NYCBL. The left-hander is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA in eight games this summer for the Geneva Twins.
Stevenson said he texted Webster coach Bill Kurich after they learned they were selected to the All-Star Game. Kurich then gave some words of encouragement.
“He (Kurich) said, ‘Congratulations,’ like most coaches do,” Stevenson said. “Then he said, ‘Man, live it up because it’s great to have the opportunity to be able to go out there and give it your all. Obviously, you made a difference to be named to it.’”