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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

Pitching Leads Baseball to Doubleheader Sweep of Princeton

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 04/20/2013
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Game 1 Box Score | Game 2 Box Score

PRINCETON, N.J. – The first-place Columbia baseball team won its third straight game to remain on top in the Ivy League with a doubleheader sweep of Princeton on Saturday at Clarke Field. The Lions shutout the Tigers 4-0 in game one behind the two-hit gem by David Speer, and finished off the sweep with a 7-1 victory in game two.

The pair of wins improved Columbia’s overall record to 19-16 with an 11-3 Ivy League mark and held the Tigers (11-24, 8-6 Ivy League) in second place in the Lou Gehrig Division.

Overall, the Lions outhit the Tigers 20 to eight while allowing just one run throughout both games.

Game 1 Recap:
Speer (5-2) threw his fourth complete game of the season, shutting out the Tigers with a dominating performance on the hill that included four strikeouts, just two hits (both singles) and no walks.

The Lions backed him up with defensive support and powerful bats, cranking nine hits while committing no errors throughout the game.

Senior Alex Black led Columbia at the plate, going 2-for-3 with his sixth home run of the season, two RBI and one run scored.

Black boosted the Lions to an early lead in the first after ripping a solo home run to left field.

The bats were quiet over the next four frames until Columbia rallied in the fifth to extend its lead. David Vandercook led things off with a strikeout, but reached first by taking advantage of a wild pitch on strike three. Nick Crucet advanced him to second with a sacrifice bunt, and Mike Fischer put him at third after as the Tigers threw Fischer out at first following a strikeout.

Eric Williams made it a 2-0 game with a RBI double to left field, sending Vandercook home to score. Jordan Serena kept things rolling with a single to third base, and Black notched his second RBI with a single into left center to score Williams. Designated hitter Joey Falcone brought in Columbia’s final score of the day with a single into right center, scoring Serena.

Game 2 Recap:
Columbia earned a convincing 7-1 victory in game two powered by 11 hits and a strong effort on the hill by starter Joey Donino.

The righty remained unbeaten on the season at 5-0, as he fanned a career-high 13 batters, half of the 26 he faced overall, and scattered just four hits on one run in 6.2 innings of work. Mike Weisman finished things off with a shutout 2.1 innings that included two hits and two strikeouts.

Princeton took the first lead of the game in the first after an RBI single by Steve Harrington, but that would be the only damage allowed by the Lions’ pitching staff as Donino and Weisman silenced the Tigers’ bats the rest of the way.

The Lions knotted the score at 1-1 in the fifth after Vandercook hit a leadoff double to left center and soon scored with a sacrifice fly by Fischer.

Columbia took over for good with a two-run sixth inning. Ferraresi led off with a single and got into scoring position by stealing second. Aaron Silbar then singled to advance him to third, and Vandercook cranked his second double of the game to score Ferraresi and give Columbia the lead. An error by Princeton’s shortstop Billy Arendt allowed Silbar to score from third, pushing Columbia’s lead to 3-1.

A four-run ninth inning rally gave Columbia all the insurance it needed to finish off a crucial pair of victories.  Falcone started the rally with a leadoff single. John Kinne came in to pinch run for Falcone, and eventually scored after a single by Ferraresi and an error by the pitcher. Ferraresi was the next to score thanks to a sacrifice fly by Crucet. Fischer then singled through the left side to send Silbar to the plate to make it a 6-1 score. With two outs, Chris Bodurian came in to relieve Nick Donatiello. Gus Craig and Serena both singled to load up the bases, forcing another pitching change for the Tigers. Luke Strieber came on in an attempt to escape the jam, but walked in a run to give Columbia a 7-1 advantage.

Princeton attempted a ninth-inning rally, but Weisman held the Tigers scoreless with two hits to finish off the victory.

The Lions and Tigers are back at it again tomorrow for a double header slated to begin at noon at Clarke Field.

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