NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Columbia baseball team rose to the challenge in its first Ivy League road doubleheader of the season on Saturday with a 2-1, 5-2 sweep of Yale at Yale Field.
The Lions improved to 11-15 on the season with a 4-2 Ivy League mark, as the Bulldogs fell to 5-17 overall and 2-4 in Ivy League action.
Game 1 Recap:
Bats were quiet on both sides throughout game one, as each team recorded five hits apiece in a low-scoring affair.
After a scoreless 2.5 innings, Yale took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third that lasted until a two-run rally by Columbia in the final seventh inning.
Pinch hitter Joey Falcone came into the Columbia lineup with one out in the top of the seventh and smacked his second home run of the season to right field to even the score, 1-1. Mike Fischer reached base and advanced to second due to a throwing error at third base, putting the go-ahead run in scoring position. Eric Williams capitalized with an RBI double to left center field to score Fischer and give Columbia the lead for good.
David Speer allowed each of the Bulldogs’ hits and just one run over a solid six innings of work to improve to 3-2 on the season. Alex Black earned his second save of the year, as the senior robbed any chance of a Bulldog comeback in the bottom of the seventh by striking out all three batters he faced in dominating fashion.
Rob Cerfolio (1-3) took the loss for the Bulldogs as the starter went 6.1 innings, scattering five hits on two runs, one earned. Cale Hanson finished off the final two outs in the seventh frame, holding the Lions both scoreless and hitless to prevent any further damage.
The Bulldogs got on the board in the third inning after leadoff batter Nate Adams drew a walk and worked his way around to home plate following a sacrifice bunt by Tom O’Neill and an RBI single by Chris Piwiniski. With only one out, Eric Hsieh attempted to keep the momentum rolling with a single to left field, but the Lions ended the inning by turning a 6-4-3 double play on an infield groundout by Jacob Hunter.
Game 2 Recap:
The Lions put power behind their bats with 11 hits and remained strong on the hill in game two by holding the Bulldogs to five total hits en route to the doubleheader sweep.
Joey Donino (3-0) remained unbeaten on the season by allowing just three hits on two runs and four strikeouts in 6.1 innings. Sophomore Mike Weisman earned his first save of the season by letting up only two hits with a career-high six strikeouts over 2.2 shutout innings.
Columbia struck first in the top of the first after Williams singled and eventually scored following a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Serena and a Black RBI single.
The Lions doubled their lead with another run in the second. Aaron Silbar hit a leadoff single and advanced to third after throwing error by third base. David Vandercook then knocked Silbar in for the run with an infield groundout to second base to make it 2-0, Columbia.
The scoring continued in the third as the Lions posted another one-run inning in similar fashion to the first frame. Williams got things going right away with a leadoff single into left field and advanced to third with a sacrifice bunt by Serena. This time Black made it an RBI double to left field to send Williams home to score.
The next three innings were scoreless for each team. Columbia broke the spell in the top of the seventh after Vandercook drew a walk and made his way home with a sacrifice bunt by Crucet and an RBI double by Fischer down the left field line.
This time the Bulldogs had an answer, rallying with two runs in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Hsieh singled to left field and advanced to second on a passed ball. Donino loaded up the bases with two walks, as Wesiman came into the game. The sophomore got the second out by striking out David Toups. Chris Moates then came in to pinch hit for the Bulldogs and ripped an RBI single to left field, scoring two runs on the play to cut Columbia’s lead in half, 4-2.
However the Lions tacked on an insurance run in the ninth, while Weisman held the Bulldogs scoreless to finish off the victory. Crucet started off with a leadoff single to second base and stole second to get into scoring position. Fischer advanced him to third with an infield groundout, and Williams came through with an RBI sacrifice bunt to score Crucet en route to the win.
The Lions are back in action tomorrow for a doubleheader at Brown slated to begin at noon.