Columbia and UT-San Antonio will go head-to-head for the first time ever this weekend. The Lions hold a 3-13 all-time record against teams currently in Conference USA, last playing Charlotte in a three-game set in 2009. UTSA’s only Ivy League opponent was Yale, winning three games against the Bulldogs in 1999.

The Lions remain at .500 (4-4) after a weekend split at Kennesaw State. Columbia captured victories in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, March 8, 9-3, and then the series finale the following afternoon in 11 innings, 8-5. The 4-4 start to the season is the best since 2011 when the Lions posted a 5-3 record.

The Roadrunners improved to 12-5 on the season with a 9-2 triump over No. 18 Sam Houston State on Tuesday, March 11. The game in Huntsville, Texas was only the fourth of the season away from Roadrunner Field for UTSA, as they return home for four more games at home this weekend against Columbia.

The Lions will kick off its Spring Break trip with a four-game series at UT-San Antonio with a 4-4 record. It is the best start for Columbia since the 2011 campaign, when it posted a 5-3 mark through the first eight games. 

Strong pitching and timely hitting has been the key to the Lions early season success. For the second straight weekend, the Lions went 2-2, splitting with the Kennesaw State Owls last weekend.
After being blanked in the series opener, 2-0, the Lions’ bats came alive for a season-best nine runs on 13 hits to take the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, 9-3. Columbia then capped the weekend with an 8-5, 11th inning victory, with Robb Paller driving in the game-winning run.

Centerfielder Jordan Serena has been a constant bright spot at the top of the Columbia lineup, leading the team with a .419 batting average, 13 hits, 10 runs, five stolen bases and an on-base percentage of .486. Serena has also reached base safely in each game this season. Fellow outfielder Paller paces the Lions with eight RBI, while third baseman David Vandercook has brought home five base runners. 

Despite taking the loss last Friday, David Speer has been a stalwart atop the Lions’ rotation. The senior has allowed just two runs on 10 hits in 16 innings of work and is holding opposing hitters to a .179 batting average. Fellow senior hurler Joey Donino earned his first win of the season in the Lions 9-3 victory at KSU last Saturday. Donino tossed six innings of five-hit baseball, giving up just two earned runs, before giving way to sophomore Adam Cline who picked up the save.

The Roadrunners are coming off an impressive road victory at No. 18 Sam Houston State Tuesday evening. Catcher John Bormann jacked two homeruns and matched his career-high with five RBI to lead the 9-2 charge past Sam Houston State.

Five Roadrunners are batting over .300 heading into this weekend’s series. John Welborn leads the way with an even .400 clip and a second on the team with a .585 slugging percentage. The senior has eight doubles and two triples on the season. Sophomore Jesse Baker is the team leader in slugging at .595, knocking three homers, two triples and six doubles.

Sophomore Nolan Trabanino highlights a strong pitching staff. The lefthander is 3-0 in four starts with a 1.07 ERA. Brock Hartson, Justin Anderson and Logan Onda also carry ERAs under 3.00. Hartson has started four games on the hill and is 1-0 with a team-high 25 strikeouts. Anderson and Onda are each 2-1.

The four games against Columbia will complete a 14 game stretch in which UTSA has played 13 contests at Roadrunner field. They are 9-4 on their home field, but lost their most recent home ballgame to Florida Atlantic, 3-0, on March 8.