WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Columbia baseball team completed a season sweep of NYIT on Sunday afternoon with a 9-4 victory over the Bears at Doubleday Field in non-league action.
The Lions earned their fourth consecutive victory to improve to 6-11 on the season while NYIT dropped to 2-12 overall. Columbia opened its 2013 home slate with a doubleheader sweep over the Bears, 2-1 and 2-0, on Friday.
Joey Donino (2-0) earned the win for the Lions after going five innings with an impressive career-high 11-strikeout performance while spreading out six hits and three runs. After also closing the second game against NYIT on Friday, Donino totaled 13 strikeouts in 6.1 innings against the Bears. Overall, the Columbia pitching staff combined for 39 strikeouts over three games vs. NYIT on the weekend.
Offensively, Aaron Silbar led the Lions at the plate with a four-RBI day, including two hits and two runs scored. Nick Crucet, Logan Boyher and Gus Craig also contributed two hits apiece to carry Columbia to an 11-8 hitting advantage over the Bears, who were also plagued by six costly errors throughout the game.
The Lions struck first with a four-run second inning. Boyher got things started with an infield single, and Maguire advanced him to second by drawing a walk. David Vandercook advanced both runners to second and third with a groundout to second base and Enmanuel Cabreja reached on a fielder’s choice. Craig then hit an RBI single to center field to score Maguire, and Cabreja advanced to third after a failed pickoff attempt by NYIT. Craig stole second shortly after, putting two runners in scoring position for the Lions. Cabreja and Craig soon scored after back-to-back RBI singles by Crucet and Silbar to make it 4-0, Columbia.
The Bears fought back at the top of the fourth inning to make it a close game. After Donino struck out the first two batters of the frame, Bryan VanVranken singled to left field, sparking momentum for the Bears. Consecutive walks of Nick Sebastian and Michael Iglesias loaded the bases with two outs. Joe Daru came up to plate and smacked a three-run RBI double to make it a one-run game before Donino retired the inning with yet another strikeout.
Columbia added another pair of runs in the sixth as NYIT went to the bullpen on two occasions in an attempt to salvage the inning, but two errors by the Bears allowed the Lions to extend their lead.
In the seventh inning, Columbia tacked on a trio of insurance runs to build its advantage to as much as 9-3. Back-to-back walks for Craig and Crucet put two runners on, and Silbar ripped an RBI double to left center to send Craig to the plate. Ferraresi followed with an RBI single to right field, scoring Crucet.
John Kinne entered the game as the designated hitter for the Lions, drawing a walk to once again load the bases. Brennen Forster was then called in to relieve Joe DelGiudice on the mound in an attempt to get NYIT out of the jam, but hit Boyher with a pitch for an RBI to make it 9-3.
The Bears attempted a ninth-inning rally but could only manage one additional run after an RBI single by Ali Rodriguez as utility player Alex Black held NYIT scoreless to close the final frame.
The Lions will look to roll as they return home to take on New York City rival Manhattan in a doubleheader on Wednesday, March 27 beginning at 2 p.m.