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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

Baseball Visits St. John's and Rutgers Midweek

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 04/07/2014
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GAME NOTES | ESPN3 LINK

ST. JOHN'S LIVE STATS | RUTGERS LIVE STATS

ABOUT THE MATCHUPS
Columbia takes a break from Ivy League action to take on St. John’s and Rutgers on the road. The Rutgers matchup is a rescheduled game from April 1, that had been postponed due to weather. Last season, the Lions dropped a 15-6 decision to Rutgers, but defeated St. John’s at home, 5-3.

COLUMBIA’S STATUS
After dropping the weekend opener, the Lions won their last three games of the weekend to improve to 5-3 in Ancient Eight. Columbia captured the nightcap of a doubleheader at Dartmouth, 5-4, and then took both games against Harvard Sunday, 12-6 and 8-2, respectively.

ST. JOHN’S STATUS
The Red Storm dropped two-of-three games in BIG EAST Conference play at Villanova. After winning the series-opener, 7-5, Villanova won the final two games by one run, 5-4 and 6-5. Columbia's game at St. John's will be shown live on ESPN3 at the link at the top of the page.

RUTGERS’ STATUS
The Scarlet Knights also dropped two-of-three contests in American Athletic Conference action, winning the opening game against Houston, 7-2, but falling 9-1 and 2-1 in the next two.

SCOUTING THE LIONS
Columbia remained in contention for the Gehrig Division title, going 3-1 over the weekend in doubleheaders at Dartmouth and Harvard. In a pair of one-run games, Dartmouth took the opener, 3-2, in 10 innings, but Columbia bounced back with a 5-4 triumph in the second game. The Lions’ offense exploded for 20 runs against Harvard, posting wins of 12-6 and 8-2.

First-year second baseman Will Savage and junior third baseman David Vandercook had stellar weekends at the plate. Savage, one week removed from being named Ivy League Rookie of the Week, went 9-of-16 (.563) at the plate, scored five runs, three stolen bases and drove in four RBI. Vandercook went .400 through four games, knocking four doubles and a grand slam en route to nine RBI over the weekend. His five RBI in game one against Harvard was a career-best.

As a team, the Lions were successful in 11-of-12 stolen base attempts, with Jordan Serena matching Savage with three swipes. First-year Kyle Bartelman swiped two bases, while also going 2-for-4 with two RBI in the series finale at Harvard.

Sophomores George Thanopoulos and Kevin Roy each earned wins in their respective starts, while junior Mike Wiesman earned credit for the win in game one against Harvard. Thanopoulos improved to 3-0 on the year after tossing seven innings, giving up just two earned runs on eight hits, while striking out six in the Lions’ 5-4 win over Dartmouth. Roy came away with the win after a strong six innings, striking out seven Crimson hitters and allowing just one earned run. Weisman notched his first win of the season, throwing three innings in relief against Harvard without allowing an earned run.

SCOUTING THE RED STORM
The Red Storm is coming off a pair of Big East Conference losses at Villanova. The Wildcats scored five runs in the sixth and seventh innings overcome a three-run deficit to take game two, 5-4, on Saturday, and then took advantage of six unearned runs to win the series finale over St. John’s, 6-5.

Shortstop Jarred Mederos has started all 30 games this season, posting a .343 average and driving in a team-best 23 RBI. Mederos provides power to the Red Storm lineup, knocking five doubles, one triple and one homer. Third baseman Robbie Knightes has started 18 games, recording a .383 average in 60 at bats. 

As a team, St. John’s holds a team ERA of 4.29. Probable starter Alex Katz holds a 4.50 ERA and a 1-1 mark in nine appearances. His 24 strikeouts is tied for third-most on the pitching staff. Reliever Joey Kuzia is yet to allow an earned run in 21.1 innings, while striking out 17 opposing hitters. 

SCOUTING THE SCARLET KNIGHTS
The Scarlet Knights are 2-3 in their last five contests, splitting a home-and-home series with Iona, before dropping two-of-three at home against No. 10 Houston. 

A trio of Rutgers players are hitting above a .300 clip, led by Brian O’Grady at .363. O’Grady has a team-high 37 hits, six doubles, four triples and three home runs. Vinny Zarrillo comes in hitting at .350, driving in a team-high 20 RBI. Pat Sweeney is hitting at a .303 clip, making 24 starts in 27 contests.

The team ERA of Rutgers stands at 5.48, with Howie Brey recording a team-low 1.69 ERA. In 26.2 innings, Brey has earned a 3-1 record to go with 15 strikeouts and 15 walks. Max Herrmann has thrown 22.1 innings in 11 appearances, earning a 2-0 record with 21 strikeouts. Jon Young has also made 11 appearances this season, tossing 15.1 innings on his way to a 5.87 ERA.
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