CHICAGO – UIC junior Rob Calabrese registered his second All-America honor of the season when he was named to the 2017 Perfect Game/Rawlings Third Team on Wednesday, June 14. Senior Jake Dahlberg received honorable mention on the same list.
Earlier this month, Calabrese was named Second Team All-America by Collegiate Baseball. In May, the reliable backstop was named to the All-Horizon League First Team and the Horizon League Player of the Year. He is only the fourth player in UIC's storied history to earn Player of the Year plaudits.
Calabrese batted a team-best .353 on the season, including a mark of .383 in Horizon League play. The third-year standout tallied eight home runs, 23 doubles and 53 RBI as he helped UIC match the school record for wins in a season with 39. He slugged .583 and got on base at a clip of .425. At one point during the season Calabrese reached base safely in 42 consecutive games, the program's longest streak since 2006. His 23 two-baggers in 2017 rank 14th in the NCAA and tied for third on UIC's single-season leaderboard with another All-American Flame, Curtis Granderson.
As a catcher, Calabrese started all 56 games for UIC, including 52 behind the dish. He worked closely with a pitching staff that posted not only the second-best earned-run average in the NCAA at 2.65, but also the best in program history. He played an integral part in the team's school-record 11 shutouts and the squad's fielding percentage of .984, which leads the country entering the College World Series.
Calabrese helped lead the Flames to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2008 by winning the Horizon League Championship at Granderson Stadium on May 27. UIC was sent to the Hattiesburg Regional and the catcher claimed a spot on the All-Region Team by driving in a team-best five runs in two games for the Flames.
Calabrese has an opportunity to join the professional ranks after he was selected by the San Francisco Giants on June 13 in the 10th round of the 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
A frequent batterymate for Calabrese, Dahlberg also earned honorable mention from Perfect Game/Rawlings. He started 16 games for UIC in 2016 and won 10 of the 12 contests in which he factored in the decision. The left-handed pitcher notched an ERA of 2.17, while opponents batted only .165 against him. Dahlberg ranks second in the NCAA in hits allowed per nine innings (5.04) and 11th in both WHIP (0.9) and victories (10). He started four of the team's 11 shutouts, pitching an average of 7.0 innings in each of those games, while allowing an average of 1.8 hits. Dahlberg's final two shutout efforts came in a one-hitter against Wright State on May 13 and UIC's first game of the Horizon League Championship on May 25.
The two-time Horizon League Pitcher of the Year graduated ranked second in program history in strikeouts (212), third in starts (44), tied for third in wins (24), fifth in innings pitched (283.2), and ninth in ERA (3.43). He did all that in just three seasons in a UIC uniform after competing for one season at Mt. Hood in Gresham, Ore.
Dahlberg was chosen by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 21st round of the 2017 MLB Draft on Wednesday.