NEW YORK -- Columbia's offense exploded for 13 runs in the seven-inning opener as the Lions defeated Penn 13-5 but the Quakers came back to take the second game, 11-7.  The loss meant Columbia is now eliminated for the Gehrig Division title.

Game 1

The opener saw a wild first inning that lasted 50 minutes.  After Penn put up four runs in the top half of the inning, three on a three-run homer off the bat of Dan Williams, Columbia responded with seven runs in the bottom of the inning.

Penn starter Tom Grandieri walked the first three batters he faced but then got Ron Williams on a popup.  The next batter, Mike Roberts drove a 2-1 pitch way over the center field wall for a grand slam, quickly tying the game at 4-4.

Bobby O'Brien then walked on four pitches and two batters later, Alex Ferrera hit his fourth home run of the season to give the Lions a 6-4 lead. 

Billy Rumpke followed with a sharp single back through the middle, chasing Grandieri from the game.  Battinf for the second time in the inning, Nick Cox lofted a sun-aided double into the left field corner to score Rumpke, making it 7-4 Columbia after the first.

Lion starter Joe Scarlata settled in after that, allowing just a one-out single over the next three innings.  Columbia made it 8-4 in the fourth when Williams singled home Dean Forthun.

Penn answered in the top of the fifth when Grandieri led off the inning with a home run.  Penn put runners on first and second with one out but Scarlata induced a comebacker and started a 1-6-3 double play to get out of trouble.

Columbia padded its lead in the fifth with four runs and added a single run in the sixth, making it 13-5. 

 

Scarlata pitched a scoreless final two innings to pick up his fourth win of the season and his fifth complete game. 

 

Alex Ferrera went 4-for-4 with three RBI in the opener.  Nick Cox, Dean Forthun, Ron Williams, Mike Roberts and Billy Rumpke each had two hits.

 

Game 2

 

The second game saw a scoreless first inning but the Lions had a chance to put runs on the board in their half.  After Jon Eisen, who went 5-for-5 in the game, led off with a single, Dean Forthun lined one in the right-center gap that Penn’s Adrian Lorenzo caught with a headlong dive, and got up to double off Eisen at first.

 

Penn struck first in the top of the third with a pair of unearned runs against Lion starter Pat Lowery.  But Columbia responded with two of its own in the bottom of the frame.

 

With one out, Billy Rumpke beat out an infield hit and Jon Eisen followed with a perfectly executed hit-and-run single through the vacated hole at shortstop.  Rumpke just slid in safely at third and Eisen followed by hustling into second. 

 

Nick Cox followed by stinging a double over the left fielder’s head to bring home both Rumpke and Eisen, tying the game at 2-2.

 

Penn regained the lead in the top of the fourth when Will Davis drove a 2-0 fastball over the wall in right center for a three-run homer, giving the Quakers a 5-2 advantage.

 

Columbia got one back in its half of the fifth but Penn took a 10-3 lead in the next inning, with the big blow coming on a William Gordon grand slam that curved just inside the left field foul pole.

 

Alexander Aurrichio led off the Columbia sixth with his fourth home run of the season and Bobby O'Brien doubled home Alex Ferrera to make it 10-5, but Penn starter Todd Roth wiggled out of a one-out, bases loaded situation by getting a 5-4-3 double play ball to end the inning.

 

After Penn made it 11-5 in the seventh, Columbia kept fighting back, adding two runs in the bottom of the eighth to get within 11-7.

 

The Lions put two runners on with one out in the ninth and Alex Ferrera and Bobby O'Brien each flew out to the warning track to end it.

 

Nick Cox drove in three runs and went 2-for-4 in the game and Aurrichio, Ferrera and O’Brien each had a pair of hits.

 

Now 7-11 in the Ivy League, Colubmia will close out its season tomorrow, Sunday, April 26 with a doubleheader at Penn beginning at noon.

 

NOTES:

 

-        Joe Scarlata improved his Ivy record to 8-1 over the past two seasons with his win in the opener.

-        Ron Williams is two hits shy of tying the all-time Columbia hits record of 203, held by Bart “B” Teal ’95.

-        Senior Day at Robertson Field drew a huge crowd on a beautiful, 83-degree day in New York City.  Columbia’s six seniors – Joey Mizzoni, Kyle Roberts, Mike Roberts, Joe Scarlata, Jon Tasman and Ron Williams – were honored with their parents prior to the first game.