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Senior outfielder Billy Rumpke has started all 35 games in center field.
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

Columbia Continues Gehrig Division Play with Four-Game Home Series vs. Princeton

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NEW YORK - Columbia and Princeton will continue Gehrig Division play as the quest for the Ivy League title continues on Robertson Field at Satow Stadium. After 11 games on the road, Columbia will return for a four-game series with Princeton, beginning Friday, April 20 with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday's doubleheader will begin at 1:30 p.m.

Columbia sits in third place in the Gehrig Division, three games back of Princeton and four games behind Cornell in first place. Columbia handed Cornell its second loss in league play in the final game of last weekend’s series but the Big Red won three close games before the finale to take the weekend series.

Admission is free to all baseball games at Robertson Field at Satow Stadium. Note: The uptown 1 train will not stop at 215th Street between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday only. The 1 train will stop at 207th Street. There will be uninterrupted 1 train service on Saturday.

Fans can also watch the game live via SideLION Pass without audio. Columbia's student radio station, WKCR 89.9 FM, will broadcast each game during the series via the RealAudio stream. A live blog for Friday and for Saturday, live stats and game notes are available.

In a series that dates back to 1868, the Lions and Tigers played in the first televised sporting event in the United States. On the field currently known as Robertson Field at Satow Stadium, Columbia’s doubleheader with Princeton on May 17, 1939 was broadcast nationwide on NBC.

Columbia’s pitching staff has been strong all season and the Lions’ starters have kept that up in Ivy League. In the 12 league games so far, Columbia’s pitching staff has posted a 3.31 earned run average, a mark that is second in the league. Opponents are batting .251 against Lion hurlers and Columbia’s staff leads the league with 83 strikeouts.

Junior outfielder Dario Pizzano is second in the Ivy League in batting average this season at .410 with 10 runs batted in. For the season, Pizzano is batting .342 with a team-high 25 runs batted in and 27 bases on balls. He is tied for the team lead with Nick Ferraresi with 13 doubles.

Senior infielder Jon Eisen is not far behind Pizzano in the Blair Bat race. Eisen is batting .395 in Ivy League play this season and recently had an 18-game hit streak snapped over the weekend at Cornell. Eisen leads the team with 28 runs scored and nine stolen bases.

Junior Alex Black had an outstanding week with the bat last week, batting .550 in five games for Columbia. Black had multiple-hit games in each of the five contests, with two hits in four games and three hits in game one on Sunday at Cornell. For the season, Black leads the club with a .351 batting average.

Junior outfielder Nick Ferraresi has been wielding a hot bat lately. Ferraresi leads the team with three home runs and is tied for the team lead with 13 doubles with Dario Pizzano. Ferraresi is batting .301 for the season with 19 RBI.

Columbia has turned 35 double plays this season while opponents have turned 13 against the Lions. The average of 1.03 double plays per game ranks 16th in the nation, through Sunday’s games.

Senior right-hander Pat Lowery has pitched well recently, including six shutout innings at Cornell with eight strikeouts, matching a career high. Lowery leads the staff with a 2.79 earned run average and has struck out 35 batters in 42 innings.

Junior right-hander Stefan Olson threw six strong innings to earn the win in Sunday’s game two at Cornell. Olson struck out seven during his stint to earn his second win of the year in a 5-1 Columbia victory.

Junior right-hander Tim Giel tossed his first complete game of his career on Saturday in game two at Cornell. Despite taking a 3-0 loss, Giel allowed just one hit in his final seven innings of work.

Senior catcher Mark Heil launched his first collegiate home run in Wednesday’s second game at Manhattan. Batting right-handed, Heil led off the seventh and final inning with a towering shot that cleared the left field wall.

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