NEW YORK - The Columbia baseball team will continue its roadstretch as the Lions resume Ivy League action with a doubleheader at Yale on Saturday, April 6 beginning at 12 p.m., followed by a doubleheader at Brown on Sunday, April 7, also slated to begin at noon.
Yale (5-15, 2-2 Ivy League) is riding a three-game winning streak headed into this weekend’s action after cruising to a 15-5 win over UConn on Wednesday at Yale Field. The Bulldogs scored nine runs in the first two innings, four in the first and five in the fifth, to notch the victory. Freshman shortstop Tom O’Neill keyed the two rallies with a two-run single in both innings. He finished 2-for-5 with four RBI on the day.
The Bulldogs split both doubleheaders in their opening Ivy League weekend against Princeton and Cornell. The Tigers earned a 4-0 shutout in the first game on March 30 before Yale bounced back with a convincing 9-1 victory in game two. On March 31, the Bulldogs once again dropped game one by an 8-5 score to the Big Red before coming back with a 4-2 win later in the day.
Most of the offensive production for the Bulldogs this season has been coming from Jacob Hunter, who is batting .364 and leads the team in slugging percentage (.470), on-base percentage (.405), hits (24), total bases (31) and doubles (4). David Toups has knocked in a team-best 12 RBI, while Green Campbell has stolen a team-high four bases on the year.
Rob Cerfolio (1-2) leads the Bulldogs with a 2.81 ERA in five appearances, including two starts, on the year. In 25.2 innings on the mound, Cerfolio has allowed eight earned runs on 27 hits to go with 16 strikeouts and six walks. Yale’s main starter, Chris Lanham (1-4), holds a 5.93 ERA in 27.1 innings of work that includes 18 earned runs on 35 hits with 14 strikeouts and 10 walks.
COLUMBIA VS. YALE
The last time Columbia played in New Haven was during the 2011 season, when the Lions split their doubleheader with the Bulldogs, falling 6-3 game one before handily winning by an 8-1 score in the second game. Last season, the Lions swept the Bulldogs at home by 3-0 and 3-1 scores in their Ivy League opener.
Brown (2-15, 0-4 Ivy League) will look to snap a five-game losing skid in its rescheduled game against Bryant Thursday afternoon before entering this weekend’s Ivy League action. Off to a rough start in conference play, the Bears were swept by both Cornell and Princeton after producing just one run in each of the four contests. Brown’s most recent win came on March 26 by a 6-3 score at Gonzaga. The early season came with a challenging schedule for the Bears, as they faced LSU twice, Auburn three times, Washington State four times and Gonzaga twice. The Bears earned their only other victory of the season in a 12-inning battle vs. Nicholls St. at LSU, coming away with a 5-4 win back on March 2 in their second game of the season.
Overall, the Bears are hitting .219 as a team and have posted a 6.15 team ERA on the year. Daniel Massey leads Brown with a .367 batting average, one home run and seven RBI. Will Marcal is also hitting above .300, with a .313 average to go with a pair of doubles, one triple, one home run and seven RBI.
Wil Lacker (1-0) holds a team-low 2.35 ERA in 7.2 innings on two hits and two runs. The main starter for the Bears, Anthony Galan (0-2), has posted a 5.25 ERA with five starts on the season. In 24.0 innings of work, Galan has allowed 14 earned runs on 25 hits, 13 batters walked and eight strikeouts.
COLUMBIA VS. BROWN
The Lions and Bears split their doubleheader last season. Brown edged Columbia 4-3 in game one of the Ivy League opener before the Lions dominated with a 14-6 win in the second end of the doubleheader.
LAST TIME OUT
Rutgers used a game-high four hits and two home runs from Jeff Melillo on 17 hits overall to defeat Columbia, 15-6, on Tuesday afternoon at Bainton Field. The Lions received a trio of run-scoring at bats from Nick Ferraresi and Logan Boyher, as each knocked a two-run homer on the day to lead Columbia offensively. Joey Gandolfo (0-2) took the loss for Columbia, allowing three runs on four hits in 1.0 inning in his start on the mound. Nathaniel Roe (1-1) picked up his first win of the season by throwing 2.1 innings and allowing one run on four hits while striking out one.
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PILING THE PUNCHOUTS
Columbia pitchers combined for 39 strikeouts over three games vs. NYIT earlier this season, highlighted by Adam Cline’s impressive 14-strikeout performance in eight innings of work in game two on March 22. David Speer carried the Lions to their first home win of the season as he threw a complete game with 10 K’s over seven innings. Joey Donino was the third pitcher to reach double figures as he fashioned a career-high 11 strikeouts in the series finale while adding another pair of K’s to close out game two.
BLACK IN BUSINESS
Senior Alex Black has been a force as a utility player for the Lions, making his mark at first, at the plate and then on the hill. Batting .260 on the season, the co-captain has knocked in 12 RBI to go with 20 hits and four home runs. On the mound, Black has thrown 8.1 innings with seven strikeouts as one of Columbia’s top closers.