NEW YORK – Columbia completed the weekend sweep of Princeton on Sunday, rallying in game one from a three-run deficit to take a 9-6 victory before putting on an offensive show in game two, taking down the Tigers, 13-3. Columbia is now above .500 at 16-15 overall and is 9-3 in the Ivy League having won its last eight games.
The weekend sweep of Princeton is the first time the Lions have taken all four games of the series since the Ivy League began divisional play in 1993.
GAME ONE RECAP
Outfielders Jordan Serena and Robb Paller each went 3-for-4 at the dish, as the Lions rallied to defeat Princeton, 9-6, in Sunday's opener. Thomas Crispi pitched five effective innings of relief to earn the win, his third of the season.
The afternoon started off on a positive note for Princeton with Danny Hoy sending the very first pitch over the centerfield wall. Three batters later with a runner on, Paul Tupper made it a 3-0 Tigers’ advantage with another homer for the visiting team, as his shot cleared the left field wall.
Columbia chipped away at the lead, getting a run in each of the next two innings. Jordan Serena scored with one out on a David Vandercook double in the first frame for the Lions’ initial run. Mike Fischer accounted for the Lions’ second run on his own, recording the second inside the park homer at Robertson Field at Satow Stadium this season in the bottom of the second. His drive to left center ricocheted off the wall away from Princeton’s left fielder, allowing head coach Brett Boretti to give the go sign to Fischer as he rounded third.
Princeton came right back in the top of the third with two runs to extend its lead back to three at 5-2. Tupper drove in Zack Belski for the first run, before scoring himself on an Andres Larramendi double.
The Tigers’ lead was short-lived though, as Columbia seized control in the bottom half of the frame. Will Savage’s exceptional rookie campaign continued with a triple to right field that scored lead-off man Serena, making it a 5-3 affair. Robb Paller cut into the deficit with a hard-hit RBI single through the left side to score Savage and Kyle Bartelman picked up the game-tying RBI when his grounder to the shortstop was misplayed and Paller came in to score.
Columbia grabbed the lead in the fourth inning with three more base runners coming in to score. Gus Craig tripled to lead off the frame and came in to score in the next at bat on Serena’s single to left. Vandercook tallied his second RBI of the contest with a sacrifice fly out to right and then Paller made it an 8-5 lead with another RBI-single through the left side.
Paller notched RBI number three in the bottom of the sixth, driving another ball through the infield, this time to the right side, to bring in Serena. Princeton got one run back in the top of the seventh when Hoy scored on a wild pitch, but Crispi closed out his solid outing with two strikeouts in the inning. He finished the day with five sit downs, while giving up just five hits and three runs.
Serena crossed the plate four times in the game and drove in a teammate, while Savage scored twice and drove in a run.
GAME TWO RECAP
Columbia’s offense battered five Princeton pitchers for 14 hits and 13 runs, completing the sweep with a 13-3 trouncing. In addition to the 14 hits, Columbia batters also walked eight times. Starter Kevin Roy was unhittable through the first six innings, and ended his strong day with just one hit and two runs allowed, while striking out six, in seven innings of work.
It was Columbia that got on the board first, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the first, both coming with two outs. Vandercook and Paller each earned walks to bring Aaron Silbar to the dish. Silbar’s grounder to short was mishandled initially and then the throw to first sailed over the bag, keeping the inning alive and allowing Vandercook to score. A double steal in the next at bat, saw Silbar swipe second, while Paller slid in safely at home.
The third frame saw the Lions tally four runs to go up 6-0 on Princeton. A Vandercook walk and Paller double down the right field line gave Columbia two runners in scoring position with just one out. Silbar then poked a single through the right side to score them both. With two down, Fischer earned a free base when he was hit by a pitch. John Kinne then stood in and knocked a single to center to bring home SIlbar and Fischer.
Aggressive base running pay dividends in the fourth inning, as another double steal, this time with Serena and Savage, earned Columbia another run and a 7-0 advantage.
The advantage ballooned to 12-0 in the fifth innings, as Columbia plated five more runs. Serena and Vandercook picked up the first two RBI’s on singles that scored Kinne and Nick Maguire, respectively. Silbar increased his RBI total in the game to four, with an RBI double down the right field line that brought around Serena and Vandercook. Logan Boyher received credit for the innings final RBI, when his single through the left side scored Paller.
Boyher earned another RBI in the seventh, driving a pitch to deep right field, scoring Bartelman all the way from first. Princeton scored twice in the top of the seventh and a third run in the eighth, but the Columbia advantage was insurmountable as Zack Tax came on in the ninth and got two strikeouts and a ground out to end the game.
Columbia is on the road for its next five contests, visiting St. John’s on Wednesday before heading to in-state rival Cornell for a four-game series next weekend.