Columbia begins its Ivy League title defense with an 18-game road marathon that features trips to Florida (USF), Georgia (Kennesaw St.), Texas (UTSA, Texas A&M, UT-Arlington and Texas) and a short journey to West Point, N.Y. to take on Army before hosting Brown in its first home doubleheader of the spring on March 29.
The Lions return the core of their rotation and the middle of a defense that led Columbia to its first NCAA Tournament victory last year. Senior hurlers David Speer
and Joey Donino
take their places atop the Columbia rotation joined by Adam Cline
who spent the majority of 2013 as a Sunday starter for the Lions. Speer, a co-captain this season, captured first team All-Ivy League honors, while Donino earned a spot on the second team last year. Kevin Roy
, Zack Tax
, Thomas Crispi
, Mike Weisman
and David Spinosa
, who were all key contributors out of the bull pen last year return and are joined by three first-years.
Senior co-captain Mike Fischer
is back behind the dish again this season for the Lions. Among the best throw-and-catch catchers in the nation, Fischer threw out almost half (20-of-42) of opposing base stealers in 2013. He also brings balance to a veteran pitching staff he has worked with for all four years. The left side of the infield returns with senior co-captain Aaron Silbar
manning shortstop, while David Vandercook
holds down third base. Silbar finished last season with a .306 average and was named to the All-Ivy League first team, while Vandercook provided a sure glove at the hot corner, committing just six errors in 48 starts.
Junior Jordan Serena
returns to his centerfield post after recording a clean slate in the field in 99 chances. Another first team All-Ivy League selection for the Lions, Serena finished last season with 27 stolen bases, the third-highest total in program history. He also slammed 16 doubles, the fourth-highest single season total in Columbia history.
The corner outfield positions and the right side of the infield will have new faces this year, with juniors Gus Craig
and Joey Falcone
looking to earn the starting roles in the outfield. Two first-years in Kyle Bartelman
and Shane Adams
have been competing early on for time at second base, while sophomore Nick Maguire
will be tapped early to take over first base duties. Sophomore Logan Boyher
provides a number of options to the lineup as a dynamic utility player.SCOUTING THE BULLS