Blake Lalli Called Up To Big Leagues Friday By Chicago Cubs -—Official Web Site of Gardner-Webb Athletics
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Lalli is Gardner-Webb's first player to reach the major leagues.
Courtesy: Iowa Cubs
Blake Lalli Called Up To Big Leagues Friday By Chicago Cubs
Courtesy: Gardner-Webb
          Release: May 18, 2012
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CHICAGO - Former Gardner-Webb slugger Blake Lalli was called up to the major leagues Friday and will suit up for the Chicago Cubs this weekend.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound catcher is the first Gardner-Webb alumnus to join a major league roster during the regular season.

The Gibsonia, Pa., native will make his big league debut in his seventh professional season, which have all been with the Cubs organization. Lalli signed with the Cubs prior to the 2006 draft as a fifth-year senior prospect.

Lalli, who resides in Boiling Springs, N.C., during the offseason, will wear jersey No. 47 with the Cubs. He had played in 20 games for AAA Iowa so far this season behind the plate, and was set to fly from Des Moines to Chicago early Friday afternoon.

"I knew when he was in college that Blake had the potential to be in the big leagues someday, but I'm just as proud of the kind of person he is," said Gardner-Webb head coach Rusty Stroupe. "He is a credit to Gardner-Webb University and our baseball program, and we couldn't be more excited for him."

Lalli spent considerable time with the big league Cubs during spring training this season, posting solid numbers offensively. Lalli batted .316 (6-of-19) with two home runs, one double and three RBI in 14 games played.

The versatile Lalli spent three seasons with the AA Tennessee Smokies, earning a spot in the Southern League All-Star Game three times. He batted .314 with the Smokies in 2009, .311 in 2010 and .287 with nine home runs in 2011.

In 2008, splitting time between Tennessee and Class A Daytona, Lalli batted a strong .326 with 11 home runs and 70 RBI.

Lalli has played first base, third base and behind the plate during his professional career – and has also seen action on the mound as a relief pitcher.

He finished his career at Gardner-Webb as one of the program's most decorated hitters, earning first-team All-Atlantic Sun Conference honors twice – once at third base (2005) and once at catcher (2006).

Lalli played for the Runnin' Bulldogs from 2002-2006, finishing his career as the program's career leader in games started (227), at bats (853), hits (290) and doubles (70). He ranks fourth in school history with a .340 career batting average and led all of NCAA Division I with a school-record 30 doubles during the 2005 season.

As a senior in 2006, Lalli batted .389 with 11 home runs, 13 doubles, 39 RBI and committed just seven errors while splitting time between third base, first base, catcher, shortstop and second base. On the mound, Lalli went 0-1 with an 0.00 ERA and three saves in four appearances out of the pen.

Lalli was recruited to Gardner-Webb by Hall of Fame Coach Clyde Miller, who coached the young slugger as a freshman in 2002.

Lalli joined the GWU program after a stellar prep career at Pine-Richland (Pa.) High near Pittsburgh, where he led the Rams to a 16-3 record as a senior after posting a .571 batting average. He earned a spot on the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Terrific Nine All-Star Team as a junior and senior.

The Cubs host the White Sox on Saturday night at 6:15 pm CT. Saturday's game will be televised on Fox.



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