Wednesday, April 2, 2003
Written by Elliott Wiley, Jr.


MEDFORD -- Senior tri-captain Brian Shapiro's (Swampscott, MA/Swampscott) recognition as a Tufts Baseball player stems from his All-NESCAC performance at shortstop, but he is more than a fielder. On Saturday, March 22, Shapiro proved this by closing out a 4-3 victory at Apprentice, setting the Tufts record for career saves with 12.

Junior Randy Newsom (Cincinnati, OH/St. Xavier) started for the Jumbos against Apprentice, and after going six innings and allowing three runs, Shapiro moved from shortstop to pitcher with hopes of saving his first game of the season. With Tufts up a run, 4-3, he surrendered two hits, including a double and single by two Builder hitters. With runners on first and second and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Shapiro struck out the final batter of the contest for the record-setting save.

Shapiro entered the season tied for the career saves record with Matt Marengi at 11 each, but Shaps' last save catapulted him to a league of his own as he is now the sole leader. Shapiro's name appears twice on the Tufts single-season save record, as he tallied five saves in 2001 and four last season. Jeff Bloom (1988) currently holds the Tufts record after his 1988 season of eight saves.

To go along with saves for Shapiro is appearances, as he is currently tied for 16th in Tufts history for career appearances on the mound with 32. The leader of that category, Marengi, appeared in 53 games. Shapiro was also just two outings short in 2001 of tying the Tufts single-season record of appearances. He pitched in 14 games, with the leader, Mike Saucier, pitching in 16 games in 2000.

Last season while accruing his four saves, Shapiro pitched to a 2-1 record with a 3.38 earned run average. Shaps pitched a total of 18.2 innings, striking out 12 batters. Opponents had difficulty getting a hold of Shapiro's pitches as they only batted .247 against him. His sophomore season in 2001, Shapiro had his career high in saves with five. He pitched 16.1 innings, striking out five batters. Shapiro's 3.86 ERA looks huge next to his miniscule opponents batting average. The Tufts all-time save leader was stingy when serving up hittable pitches to other teams as they only batted .138 off him all season. For his freshman season, Shapiro stifled the opposition, allowing only 1.93 runs per nine innings and a .196 batting average to those who faced him. In 14 innings pitched, Shaps struck out 13.

This season, Shapiro has yet to give up a run in two pitching appearances, with his only save being the record-breaking closure.

Shapiro is not the only member of the baseball team walking into Recordville, as his teammate and fellow senior tri-captain Evan Zupancic (Lake Oswego, OR/Lakeridge) is on the verge of setting the Tufts record for career home runs. He began the season two home runs shy of tying the record, but a couple bombs over spring break changed that. Zupancic now sits on 19 career home runs, one shy of passing Bill Canon and Eric Shoulds, snatching the Tufts mark all for himself.  Zupancic shattered the single-season tater record last year after crushing 11 balls out of the yard. The previous record was eight in one season held by Sholds and Dan Morse.