BEAUMONT, Texas -- Columbia pounded out 15 runs on 19 hits and played errorless baseball to capture its first victory of the year, 15-8, over Lamar, snapping the Cardinals' nine-game win streak to open the year.
The Lions had seven hitters with multi-hit games, including Mike Roberts, who went 4-for-6 with three RBI, three runs scored and his first home run of the season.
Columbia's all-rookie outfield capped off their fine series as Jon Eisen, hitting leadoff, went 3-for-7 with an RBI and a stolen base. Billy Rumpke got on base five times with two singles and three walks, scoring three times, while Anthony Potter went 2-for-5 with three RBI.
Dean Forthun also went 2-for-6 with a run scored and Chris Meininger went 2-for-4 with a pair of walks, two runs scored, an RBI, and a stolen base.
The Lions jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Lamar took a turn at bat. In the top of the first, Rumpke walked with one out and Williams drove a triple into right field to score the first Lion run. Roberts then ripped the first pitch he saw up the middle to score Williams, making it 2-0.
After Alex Ferrera doubled, Potter singled the other way to bring home two more runs. Columbia put up two more in the second, while Lamar came back with two runs in its half of the second to make it 6-2 Columbia.
In the third, Roger Aquino relieved Lion starter Zach Epstein (one hit but six walks in two innings), and allowed one run in three innings before running into trouble in the sixth.
With the Lions ahead 9-6 in the Lamar half of the sixth, Derek Squires came on to get the final two outs of the inning, allowing Columbia to put up another crooked number in its half of the seventh.
Columbia took a 12-6 lead in the seventh on an RBI single by Roberts, an RBI by Ferrera and an RBI double by Potter.
After Lamar cut the deficit to 12-8, Columbia’s bullpen again lifted each other up as Harrison Slutsky closed out the game with two scoreless innings to nail down the win for the visitors.
In the ninth, Roberts hit his first homer of the season to lead off the inning and the Lions pushed across a pair of unearned runs, the first coming on Meininger’s run-scoring single, providing the final margin of 15-8.
Aquino picked up his first collegiate win with his valiant effort in long relief through the middle innings.
Columbia is now 1-3 on the season, while Lamar is 9-1.
The Lions are back in action next weekend when Columbia will travel to Charlotte for a three-game weekend series beginning Saturday, March 7 at noon.