|Simpson (K, 2-4)||4.0||8||7||6||1||2|
NEW YORK – Even though the Columbia baseball team fell short of defending its Ivy League crown, the 11 members of the class of 2016 was able to win the final game of their careers, topping Penn, 9-8, in game two of a doubleheader. A late rally by the Lions (17-24, 10-10) in game one fell short as the Quakers took the opener, 7-4.
The seniors, who won a combined 106 games – the second most in program history behind the class of 2015 with 112, were honored prior to game one. Six of those players made key contributions at some point in the twinbill.
In the opener, the Quakers (19-22, 10-10) batted through the order and scored four runs in the top of the first inning. Tim Graul extended the margin to 6-0 with a two-run homer in the second. Graul made it 7-0 with an RBI single in the fourth.
Columbia was held to just three hits through the first six innings, but finally got to starting pitcher Mike Reitcheck in the seventh. Logan Boyher hit a home run off the videoboard in left-centerfield to lead the frame off. A double play put a damper on the comeback bid, but Shane Adams and Will Savage kept the game alive with base hits. Senior Robb Paller followed with a towering home run, his fifth of the year, over the wall in right to make it 7-4.
However, Reitcheck was able to get the next batter fishing for strike three to end the ballgame.
|Crispi (W, 2-0)||2.0||1||0||0||0||2|
|Egly (S, 5)||3.0||3||1||1||0||3|
Senior John Kinne gave Columbia its first lead of the day with a single up the middle to bring in classmate Nick Maguire in the bottom of the second. With the bases loaded, first-year Ben Porter blooped a double just inside fair territory in right to bring in a pair. Savage capped the inning with a sac fly, bringing the margin to 4-2.
The Quakers cut the deficit in half, using back-to-back doubles to get on the board and an RBI groundout from Graul in the top of the third. But the Lions answered with three in the bottom of the stanza.
With Randell Kanemaru on first, Boyher went yard for the sixth time on the season with a shot over the chain-link fence in center to bring the lead up to 6-2. Two walks and an error loaded the bases for Savage, who took a five-pitch free pass to tack on an insurance run.
Penn pulled within one with four runs in the fourth and had the tying run on second before Ryan Marks came up with a big strikeout to keep the Lions in front.
In the fifth, Kinne belted the first home run of his career to extend the cushion to 8-6, but the Quakers would not go away.
Graul was in the middle of things again in the sixth, doubling in a run with no outs. With the bases loaded, senior George Martin induced a pop up in a lefty-lefty matchup for the first out of the frame. Columbia then called upon senior George Thanopoulos to get out of the jam, and the right-hander blew away two hitters for strikeouts to preserve the advantage.
The Lions filled the base paths in the seventh and a Boyher single scored Porter, which proved to be a key run.
After breezing through his first 2.2 innings of relief, Harrisen Egly ran into a little trouble with Penn down to its final out. Matt McGeagh homered to center to make it a one-run ball game and Jonah Campbell narrowly missed tying the score, doubling off the top of the wall in left. Fortunately, Egly was able to get the next hitter to hit a soft liner right at Savage at second base for his fifth save of the year, tying the program’s single-season record which he held a share in 2015 as well.
Senior Thomas Crispi started the game, tossed two scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts and earned the win because it was pre-determined the Lions would use at least three pitchers in the contest.