Sitting atop the Ivy League standings, Columbia (13-15, 6-2 Ivy League) recently completed a pair of doubleheader sweeps in their conference road openers at Yale and Brown last weekend. The Lions defeated the Bulldogs 2-1 and 5-2 on Saturday and followed with a 2-0 shutout and 13-4 downing of the Bears on Sunday.
The 13-4 victory over Brown came behind a powerful 19-hit day for the Lions, marking the most hits in a single game since the Lions posted 22 at South Alabama back on March 14, 2011.
Joey Falcone leads the Lions with a .536 slugging percentage and .321 batting average on the season, while Aaron Silbar is close behind, batting .312 and posting a team-best 29 hits. Nick Ferraresi has knocked in a team-leading 17 RBI to go with 27 hits after the senior went a career-high 4-for-5 in Columbia’s most recent win over Brown.
On the hill, David Speer is posting a team-low 2.13 ERA with three wins, 32 strikeouts and 35 hits allowed in 38 innings of work. Joey Donino has also earned three wins so far, picking up his first of the year against then No. 16-ranked Arizona. Black leads the Lions in saves with two on the season, as the senior has finished seven games, rotating between first base and in relief on the hill for Columbia.
St. John’s brings a 13-18 overall record and a 3-6 Big East mark into Tuesday’s contest after having dropped two of three games in its most recent series at Connecticut last weekend. The Red Storm opened the set with a 3-0 victory on April 5 before dropping the next two by 9-2 and 5-3 scores.
Frank Schwindel is averaging a team-high .341 batting average and .508 slugging percentage. He also leads the Red Storm with 43 hits, 33 RBI, 64 total bases and three home runs.
O’Hare has found the most success getting on base, posting a .427 on-base percentage on the year, reaching base 11 times due to being hit by a pitch. He is batting .308 overall and also leads St. John’s with nine stolen bases.
The St. John’s pitching staff has a combined 5.64 ERA, led by Ryan Horstman’s (4-4) 2.30 ERA. James Lomangino has struck out a team-high 49 batters, 12 looking, in eight starts on the mound. Altogether, the Red Storm pitching staff is comprised of 10 freshmen, the third-most among the 298 Division I baseball programs.
Tuesday’s contest will mark the 36th meeting between Columbia and St. John’s in a series that dates back to 1974. Although the Red Storm leads the series 27-8, the Lions upended St. John’s 9-6 in their most recent matchup last season on April 10.