NEW YORK – The Columbia baseball team will play its final out-of-conference games this Wednesday, April 24, when it makes the short trip to Fordham for a doubleheader against the Rams. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.
After to the games, members of both squads will have the opportunity to have their heads shaved to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an organization that funds childhood cancer research. For more information on St. Baldrick’s for donation information, please visit the Columbia Baseball St. Baldrick’s site.
The Lions are coming off another successful Ivy League weekend that saw Columbia defeat Princeton in three of four games at Clarke Field. Columbia is now 20-17 overall and 12-4 in the Ivy League with just four games remaining against Penn following the doubleheader with Fordham.
Columbia shortstop Aaron Silbar heads into the final week of the season sporting a team-best .315 batting average. The junior from Jacksonville, Fla. batted .438 over the weekend, racking up seven hits, while also scoring three times and driving in a trio of RBI. Senior Alex Black has had a solid series against the Tigers, hitting .364, with a homerun, four RBI and five walks for an on-base percentage of .611. Black has driven in a team-high 23 RBI, has six homers and is second on the club with a .311 average at the dish.
Jordan Serena and Nick Crucet have both been crucial factors in the Lions ability to manufacture runs on the base paths. Serena has swiped 26 bases in 27 attempts to lead the Ivy League, while Crucet has 14 steals in 18 attempts.
During the season, the Lions have used a pitcher-by-committee approach to their midweek games. Against St. John’s on April 9, six hurlers saw time on the hill, with David Spinosa getting the start, but Zack Tax received credit for the win after coming on in relief. Tax is 3-1 on the season and has a 4.70 ERA in 15.1 innings of work. Thomas Crispi, Kevin Roy, Mike Weisman and Black also saw action against the Red Storm, with Black notching his third save of the year. Roy, Weisman and Crispi all pitched well over the weekend against Princeton, keeping the Tigers hitless during their time on the bump.
Fordham will host Columbia on Wednesday with an overall 13-27 mark and a 2-10 record in Atlantic-10 action. The Rams hosted George Washington over the weekend, dropping two of three to the Colonials. Fordham’s lone win of the series came on Saturday, with Chris Pike allowing just one run on six hits in eight innings of work in the Rams’ 5-1 victory. The win was just second for the Rams during the month of April with a 15-14 victory at home against Rutgers on April 9 serving as the other.
The Rams leading hitter is Joseph Runco, who is batting at a .273 clip. The freshman has also stolen a team-best 13 bases. Senior Mike Mauri and freshman Charles Galliano have each driven in a team-leading 21 RBI for the Rams. Galliano has also knocked 11 extra-base hits to pace Fordham.
Freshman Joseph Serrapica is the lone Fordham pitcher with a sub-3.00 ERA, coming in at 2.60 with a 2-1 record in six appearances. Serrapica is the only Rams’ pitcher with a winning mark, as Brett Kennedy and Cody Johnson are 2-2. Kennedy boasts a 4.11 ERA, while Johnson stands at 4.46. Rich Anastasi has made the most appearances this season, finding himself on the hill in 15 games this season, throwing his way to a 3.58 ERA.