PRINCETON, N.J. – Columbia baseball standout Alex Black was named Ivy League Player of the Week for his outstanding performance last week as the Lions catapulted into contention for the 2013 Ivy League Championship title.
Black helped Columbia close out the 2013 regular season with 16 Ivy League wins, the most in program history, by cranking out nine hits on the week, averaging .450 at the plate with a .560 on-base percentage. On the mound, the senior closed out two shutout innings, letting up just one hit and earning the save in Columbia’s tight 1-0 victory over Penn on Saturday. Black was also flawless with a 1.000 fielding percentage as Columbia’s starting first basemen.
The Lions needed just two wins throughout the final four-game set vs. Penn to clinch their first Ivy League Championship berth since the 2010 season. Columbia took care of business with a sweep on day one’s doubleheader to earn the Lou Gehrig Division title. Black took a prominent role in propelling the Lions to the win with powerful at-bats, as he went 4-for-7 with four runs, two doubles and a walk on the day.
In search of a sweep the next day to clinch home field advantage in the Ivy League Championship, The Woodlands, Texas native remained solid in the road doubleheader at Penn, extending his streak of reaching base to 17 while going 3-for-6 at the plate with a run, a double, three RBI, and his league-leading seventh homer of the season. Black also tossed in a shutout inning on the mound en route to the 1-0 win in game one on Saturday to earn his fourth save of the year.
Black earns his first career Ivy League weekly award and becomes Columbia's first Player of the Week since Dario Pizzano notched the honor on May 1, 2012.
Black and the Lions will look to earn the crown at the 2013 Ivy League Baseball Championship series, set to begin Saturday at Robertson Field at Satow Stadium at 12 p.m. (noon). Columbia and Dartmouth will go head-to-head in the best-of-three series with a doubleheader Saturday and a third game, if necessary, Sunday beginning at 1 p.m.
Game two of the series will begin approximately 30 minutes after the series-opener Saturday. All three games will be nine-inning contests.