|Simpson (L, 4-2)||6.1||12||7||7||0||3|
NEW YORK — The Columbia baseball team has made its reputation as being a resilient bunch during its recent run of success and the Lions continued that Friday afternoon. Columbia (16-22, 10-8) rallied in both games of a doubleheader, falling 7-6 before salvaging a split with a 12-7 victory in the nightcap.
The game two triumph keeps the Lions Gehrig Division title hopes alive heading into tomorrow's twinbill in Philadelphia. Dating back to 2013, Columbia is now 12-3 in elimination-style games and 9-0 at Robertson Field at Satow Stadium. Columbia is two games back of Penn (22-18, 12-6) in the standings and needs a sweep of tomorrow's slate to force a one-game playoff next weekend.
The Lions came all the way back from a pair of five-run deficits to tie the game only to see the Quakers plate the go-ahead run on a wild pitch with a runner on third in the top of the seventh.
More impressively, Columbia got to Penn's ace Jack Cousins, who entered the day with an Ivy League-leading 1.74 ERA. Cousins was charged with six earned runs on eight hits in six innings of work.
The Quakers were aggressive at the plate against game one starter Josh Simpson. It took just three batters for Penn to grab a lead when Sean Phelan drove in Tim Graul to start a five-run first inning. Matt O'Neill provided the big blow, a two-run homer in the middle of the outburst.
From there, Simpson settled in and a Ben Porter sac fly cut the deficit to 5-1 after three innings. However, Graul restored the five-run cushion in the top of the fourth with his second double of the afternoon before the Lions' bats came to life.
Matt Karo and Julian Bury notched back-to-back doubles to start the fifth and Ben Porter delivered his first career home run over the fence in center to pull Columbia within 5-3. Two batters later, Kyle Bartelman skied a deep solo shot to make it a one-run contest. In the sixth, Joe Engel was drilled for the second time in the game and Bury brought in the tying run with another double.
Graul battled back from an 0-2 hole to even the count and went the other way for a triple to lead off the top of the seventh. The Lions went to Brett Gannway to get a pair of righty-on-righty matchups, but on his first pitch he lost his grip on a breaking ball and it wound up to the backstop to bring in the go-ahead run.
The Quakers called on closer Billy Lescher, who worked a perfect bottom of the seventh with a pair of strikeouts.
|Wiest (W, 2-3)||5.2||3||3||3||1||4|
NEW YORK — It appeared as if runs were going to be hard to come by for both teams with starting pitchers Adam Bleday and Ty Wiest dealing early. The Quakers broke through first hitting solo homers in the third, fourth and fifth innings to go in front, 3-0. The long balls were the only three hits Penn would get off Wiest in 5.2 innings of work.
Columbia answered with four runs in the fifth just like in the opener. Matt Karo started the rally with a single, Bury was grazed on the elbow and Porter dropped down a perfect bunt down the first base line to load the bases. Kanemaru followed with an opposite field double to make it a one-run ballgame. Bartelman drew the Lions even after a chopper to the bag at first and Liam McGill roped a base-hit to left to put Columbia on top for good, 4-3.
After making a diving catch in rightfield to prevent an extra-base hit in the top of the sixth, Bury plated two insurance runs in the bottom of the inning, smacking a single up the middle with the infield playing in to make it a three-run advantage and Bartelman extended the advantage to 7-3 with an RBI single.
The Lions blew things open in the eighth, using a three-run shot from Bartelman to go up 10-3. McGill kept the line moving with a base-hit to set up a two-run bomb by Chandler Bengtson for his ninth dinger of the year.
Penn refused to go quietly in the ninth though, belting a pair of two-run homers, but the outcome was never in doubt.
Ian Burns was sensational out of the bullpen, throwing 2.1 innings of perfect relief. Wiest improved to 2-3 on the year.
Bartelman finished his senior day 4-for-5 with five RBI. Porter and Kanemaru each had two hits.
Columbia has now scored 10 or more runs in four of its last five games.
First pitch of tomorrow's doubleheader is slated for 1 p.m. Both contests will be broadcast live on the Ivy League Digital Network.