RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University baseball standouts Joey Cujas (Vienna River Dogs), Chris Ayers (Youses Orioles) and Ryan Farrar (Youses Orioles) have earned the respect of their peers this summer playing in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League.

The trio was rewarded for a productive first half with spots on the league's all-star squad and will participate in the annual Mid-Atlantic Classic Monday, July 11 in Harrisonburg, Va.  The inter-league matchup, which pits the top CRCBL players against the Valley Baseball League All-Stars, is set to begin at 7:30 p.m., at James Madison University's Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.

The honors were well-deserved for the Rams this summer as Cujas is hitting .325 with a pair of doubles and a triple, while leading the River Dogs with 25 hits, 14 RBI and nine runs scored.  The third baseman is the only player to start all 23 games for Vienna.  Ayers, one of two designated hitters selected to the squad, is having similar success with Youses batting .342 with a team-best seven doubles and 15 RBI. 

Farrar, meanwhile, has dominated the Orioles' bullpen posting a 1-0 record with a 1.42 ERA, including a team-best three saves in 11 appearances.  The left-handed reliever has allowed just three runs in 19.0 innings of work, while tallying 30 strikeouts and just two walks.

Two other Colonial Athletic Association schools are represented on the Ripken League squad with Towson catcher Andrew Parker and UNC Wilmington hurler Kelly Secrest.

The Ripken League defeated the Valley League, 2-1, in the inaugural Mid-Atlantic Classic in 2009 but rain forced the cancellation of last year's event.  It marks the third year in a row the Rams have had a player represented as former second baseman Richard Gonzalez was a member of the Valley League squad in 2009 before infielder Nick Kime was chosen by the Ripken League last year.  The 29-player roster is selected by a committee of coaches, owners and league officials.

The Ripken League will hold its own annual All-Star game on July 19.

February 16, 2011 2011 BASEBALL PREVIEW: INFIELD