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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Atlantic jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning and topped the Columbia baseball team, 11-2, to put a halt to the Lions’ NCAA Regional run. Sophomore AJ DiFillipo went 2-for-4 with a homer and first-year Jack Chernow was 3-for-4 to pace the offense.
The Owls’ (41-18-1) first six batters reached, and after a sac fly, they led 5-0. Tyler Frank posted his second hit of the inning to drive in Andru Summerall, extending the advantage to six. Columbia committed two defensive errors in the third and FAU cashed in with a two-run single by David Miranda to make it 8-0. Solo homer runs by Kevin Abraham and Richie Nizza in the fourth and fifth innings pushed the margin to 10-0 before the Lions broke up the shutout bid in the bottom of the fifth.
Lane Robinette drew a leadoff walk and the bases were loaded for Randell Kanemaru after DiFillipo and Ben Porter notched base hits. Kanemaru put Columbia on the board with a sac fly – his 112th career RBI to push him to sixth on the Lions’ all-time list. With two runners on, FAU reliever Nick Swan came through with a key strikeout to keep the Lions at bay.
After DiFillipo launched his first long ball of the season in the eighth, Chernow picked up his second hit of the afternoon and Kanemaru nearly kept the rally going, just hooking a ball foul down the leftfield line. It was the second near-home run for the Lions after Chandler Bengtson sent a ball in that direction that narrowly missed cutting Columbia’s deficit to 6-2 in the first inning.
In the ninth, Summerall ripped his ninth dinger of the year to put the finish touches on the FAU victory.
Kanemaru finished his illustrious career with 192 hits, fourth most in program history, and 20 home runs which ties him with Bengtson for
The Lions completed the season 20-30 overall and were 13-8 in conference play. Columbia won a share of the Ivy League title after sweeping the Ivy League Championship Series at Yale, for its 14th Ancient Eight crown and fourth NCAA Regional appearance in six seasons.