Baseball Uses the Long Ball to Snap Manhattan's 10-Game Win Streak
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/David Epstein

NEW YORK -- Columbia received a pair of two-run home runs from Dario Pizzano and Jason Banos in the first inning to take a 4-0 lead and Banos added another home run, a solo shot, in the sixth as the Lions defeated Manhattan, 6-5, to snap the Jaspers' 10-game winning streak, the nation's longest active win streak.

After Columbia starter David Speer hung up a zero in the first inning, Columbia quickly went ahead 4-0 in its half of the first.

Nick Crucet singled with one out and on the first pitch he saw, Pizzano cranked a two-run shot deep over the wall in right center that put Columbia in front, 2-0.

Two batters later, Nick Ferraresi reached on an error after the Manhattan second baseman slipped on the wet turf on a cool, foggy day to prolong the inning.  Banos was the next batter and he took advantage, driving one over the right field wall to give the Lions a 4-0 lead.

Speer left the bases loaded without a run scoring in the second, allowing Columbia to take a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the inning.

Enmanuel Cabreja pulled a one-out double into the left field corner and with two outs, Nick Crucet lined a triple over the head of left fielder Kyle Murphy that rolled to the wall, scoring Cabreja.

Manhattan got two runs back in its half of the third but reliever Zack Tax did well to limit the damage, ultimately tossing a scoreless inning and two-thirds in the staffed game.

Harrison Slutsky came on to pitch two spotless innings for the Lions in the fifth and sixth innings.  In the bottom of the sixth, Banos struck again, ripping a solo home run over the right field fence for his second round-tripper of the game.

The Jaspers tagged reliever Max Lautmann for two runs in the seventh, cutting the Columbia lead to 6-4. 

With a runner at first and two outs, Austin Sheffield worked the count to 3-2 and on the ninth pitch of his at-bat, lofted a fly ball down the right field line, toward the corner.  Playing straightaway in right field, Ferraresi darted toward the line and toward the cement wall in foul territory.  Ferraresi slid near the wall and made an unbelievable grab to end the inning and keep Columbia in front by a run.

Manhattan got to within 6-5 in the eighth inning on an RBI by Brendan Slattery but Tim Giel came on in relief to get leadoff batter Mark Onorati with the final out, a slow roller that Crucet made a nifty play on at third base.

Giel worked around two runners on base in the ninth to close it out.  He struck out Murphy on the ninth pitch of the at-bat to nail down his third save of the season and lift Columbia to its second straight win.

Speer earned his first collegiate victory while Manhattan starter Kevin Bonanni got tagged with the loss.

The Lions are back in action this Saturday, April 16 against Cornell in a doubleheader on Robertson Field at Satow Stadium as Gehrig Division play gets underway.  First pitch on Saturday is at noon.


It was the second time in his career that Banos hit two home runs in a game ... he did it nearly three years ago, on April 12, 2008 against Princeton at home ... Banos moved into seventh place on the all-time Columbia list for runs scored with 113, passing former Columbia great Gene Larkin '84 ... Alexander Aurrichio was the last Lion to club two homers in a game, last May 1 vs. Penn ... the Lions last defeated Manhattan in 2007, by a 5-4 score ... Nick Crucet belted his second triple of the season ... both Crucet and Ferraresi stole their third base of the season in the game ... the game was scheduled after Columbia's Tuesday game with St. John's and Manhattan's Tuesday game with Sacred Heart each were rained out.