PRINCETON, N.J. -- Columbia scored eight runs in the first two innings of the opener and Joe Scarlata handled the rest, tossing a four-hit complete game shutout to lift the Lions to an 8-0 win, but Princeton came back to take the nightcap, 11-4, to split the first two games of the four-game series.
Columbia jumped out to a 1-0 lead two batters into the game. Jon Eisen led off with a single and came around to score on Nick Cox's RBI double. Ron Williams then singled home Cox, making it 2-0 after the top of the first.
The Lions scored six times in the second to blow the game open. After Alex Ferrera and Billy Rumpke each walked to open the inning, Eisen dropped down a sac bunt that Princeton hurler David Hale fielded but overthrew the Tiger first baseman, allowing both runners to score.
Scarlata took over from there, scattering just four singles over seven innings for his third straight win. He struck out a season-high seven batters and did not walk anyone.
Alexander Aurrichio put Columbia on top 1-0 in the second inning with his third home run of the season. Aurrichio finished the day with three hits.
After Princeton was held scoreless for the first two innings, the Tiger bats came alive with four runs in the bottom of the third. With a run already in and two outs, Jack Murphy hit a 3-2 pitch for a three-run homer to give Princeton the lead, 4-1.
The Tigers scored twice more in the fourth to chase Lion starter Geoff Whitaker. After the Tigers pushed their lead to 9-1, Columbia came back with two in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Dean Forthun and a run-scoring single from Mike Roberts.
Princeton increased its edge to 11-3 in the eighth on Jon Broscious's second homer of the day and a balk later in the inning. The Lions provided the final margin in the ninth when Ron Williams's double scored Jon Eisen, who singled to start the inning.
With the split, Columbia is now 5-5 in the Ivy League and remains two games ahead of Princeton at 3-7 in the Gehrig Division. In the other divisional matchup, Cornell took three of four from Penn this weekend and is now 5-7 in the league.
Columbia and Princeton will make up Saturday's games with a doubleheader tomorrow, Monday, April 13 at Princeton, beginning at 1 p.m.