NEW YORK —The Columbia baseball team earned another come-from-behind victory, topping Yale 6-5 in game one of a doubleheader. Despite taking the series, the Lions (5-16, 2-1) fell in the nightcap, 8-2.
The Bulldogs (4-13, 1-2) took a 3-0 lead in the top of the second when Tom Fuller notched a double down the leftfield line with the bases loaded. Yale filled the basepaths again in the fourth and added an insurance run when Harry Hegeman grounded out behind the bag at first to bring in Tom Ruddy from third.
Columbia began its comeback in the bottom of the fourth. With Chandler Bengtson on first and one away, Julian Bury pushed a bunt to the Yale second baseman as the runner approached him. Bengston eluded the tag while staying in the base path to set up a Josh Nicoloff RBI single. After Matt Karo walked, the bases were full for the red-hot Randell Kanemaru, who worked another base on balls to make it 4-2.
After the Bulldogs capitalized on an error in the sixth to restore a three-run cushion, the Lions drew even in their next at-bats. AJ DiFillipo notched a single and an error brought up Matt Karo, who punched a single to right to bring in a run. Kanemaru was walked and Liam McGill knotted things up with a two-run single.
Leo Pollack came on in the seventh and worked out of a jam, using his third groundball double play in two games and a strikeout to strand the go-ahead run on third.
In the bottom of the eighth, smart base-running helped the Lions go in front for good. Griffin Williams drew a pinch-hit walk to start things off and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. Kanemaru was issued a free pass, his third walk of the game, with the open base and McGill hit a ball to the shortstop, who had to move to his right to make the play and opted to get the force at second. However, Kanemaru was hustling and slid into the bag to beat the throw and load the bases. Joe Engel came through with a sac fly to make it 6-5.
Billy Black, who earned the win Saturday, pitched the ninth inning and fanned a pair of batters for his first career save.
Pollack improved to 1-0 after 2.0 innings of shutout ball. Columbia’s bullpen did not allow an earned run in five innings.
Matt Cerfolio went 2-for-4 and Karo was 2-for-2 from the dish.
Tyler Sapsford (0-3) was charged with the loss after giving up the lead in the eighth. Fuller was 2-for-3 with three RBI.
NEW YORK — Fuller remained a focal point for Yale in game two, giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 advantage in the top of the second with a base hit up the middle. Kanemaru provided the equalizer, belting his first homer of the season in the bottom of the third.
In the fifth, the Bulldogs regained the lead on a three-run bomb from Griffin Dey. The Lions got one run back in the bottom of the inning off a Jack Chernow hit to bring in Bury from second. Columbia had a chance to pull closer when Kanemaru and McGill each reached via singles, but a groundout left the bases loaded.
Yale continued to tack on with runs in the sixth, eighth and two in the ninth – setting up another six-run deficit for the Lions in the bottom of the ninth. However, another rally was not in the cards as Benny Wanger retired the side to prevent a Columbia sweep.
Kanemaru’s on-base streak is now at 39 games after a 3-for-5 performance in game two. Engel went 2-for-4.
Starter Harrisen Egly (0-1) allowed four runs on six hits with five strikeouts in five innings. Eric Brodkowitz (1-2) picked up the win, throwing six innings of two-run ball with four K’s.
Teddy Hague went 4-for-5 to lead Yale’s offense.
The Lions will continue their homestand against Manhattan Tuesday, March 27 for a 3:30 p.m. contest. Admission is free. The game will be broadcast on the Ivy League Network.