NOTE: This game, originally scheduled for Wednesday, will now be played Thursday, March 27.
NEW YORK – The Columbia baseball team will have one final tune-up before Ivy League competition begins when it takes on Army Thursday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. in West Point, N.Y.
Columbia returned to Morningside Heights after playing nine games in nine days in Texas. The Lions went 1-8 on the road trip against UTSA, No. 26 Texas A&M, UT-Arlington and No. 15 Texas. Columbia’s win came against the Roadrunners in the series finale on March 16, 4-2, behind a strong pitching performance by Kevin Roy. Roy threw 7.2 innings, giving up just three hits and one earned run, earning him Ivy League Pitcher of the Week honors.
Sophomore George Thanopoulos made his first start of the season during Columbia’s midweek contest at Texas A&M. The Highland, Calif., native threw six strong innings, giving up just six hits and three runs, leaving the game with Columbia leading 5-3.
The Columbia pitching staff has racked up 104 strikeouts, tops in the Ancient Eight.
At the plate, the Lions have pounded out an Ivy League-best 145 hits through 17 games. Jordan Serena leads the way with 24 hits, a .358 batting average, seven doubles and seven steals. Robb Paller is the team-leader with 15 RBI and trails Serena in hits by just one.
The Black Knights are coming off a successful Spring Break trip to Florida, going 7-1. Army opened the trip with a three-game sweep of UMass, before taking down North Dakota State and Central Connecticut in single games. The Black Knights finished with three games against Harvard, dropping the opener before winning the final two games.
Senior first baseman Patrick Mescher was an integral piece to Army’s success, knocking nine hits, driving in eight runs and scoring five times. Mescher hit a grand slam in a 6-4 win over Harvard, just one day after hitting a walk-off single in a 3-2 win against the Crimson. Mescher leads the Patriot League with 18 RBI.
Gunnar Carroll is 4-0 on the hill for the Black Knights in six starts. His 1.85 ERA is the best among Army’s starters. Nick Dignacco and Alex Robinett also boast ERAs under three at 2.29 and 2.33, respectively.