Columbia Splits Doubleheader with Fordham; Pizzano Ties Larkin's Home Run Record
NEW YORK - Columbia scored four times in the fourth to break open a 1-0 game and eventually win the opener of its seven-inning doubleheader with Fordham, 6-1.
Nick Ferraresi belted a three-run home run in the fourth and Dario Pizzano, on his birthday, added a solo shot in the fifth. Pizzano's home run was the 25th home run of his career, tying the all-time Columbia record set by former Major Leaguer Gene Larkin '84.
In game two, Columbia rallied from a 2-1 deficit to tie the game at 2-2 in the fifth inning but stranded runners at third base in the fifth and sixth. Fordham's Tim Swatek produced a two-out, two-run single in the seventh to break the tie and hand the Rams a 4-2 victory.
Game 1 Recap
Columbia starter Zach Epstein threw six shutout innings and the Lions dented the scoreboard in the middle innings to capture a 6-1 victory in game one.
The Lions scored in the first inning, started by a leadoff single off the bat of Jon Eisen. After Eisen advanced to third base on a pair of groundouts, Nick Ferraresi rocketed a single into left field with two outs to score Eisen with the first run of the game.
Epstein held Fordham to two hits over the first four innings and allowed the Lions to break the game open in their half of the fourth.
Nick Ferraresi then launched a 3-1 pitch by reliever Dan Sorine off the scoreboard in deep left center field for a three-run home run.
Leading 4-0, Columbia added another run in the inning when Billy Rumpke scored on a failed pickoff attempt at first base to make it 5-0.
In the fifth, Fordham shifted its third baseman to left center field with two outs and Pizzano at the plate. With the Rams playing four outfielders, Pizzano launched a deep drive over the head of the former third baseman in left center and over the wall for a solo home run, tying Larkin's all-time mark.
Fordham ended the shutout in the bottom of the seventh inning when Rob McCunney's infield hit scored Brian Kownacki, who led off with a double.
Epstein allowed two hits in six innings of work. He walked two and struck out three to earn his first win of the season. John Porter was saddled with the loss despite allowing a run and two hits in three innings.
Game 2 Recap
Game two starter Mike Weisman was as efficient as he could be in his first collegiate start. He used just 21 pitches and faced the minimum over three innings of predetermined work. Weisman allowed just one base hit, hit a batter and induced a pair of double plays to keep Fordham off the board.
On the other side, Fordham starter Jordan Grangard was equally effective. Grangard held Columbia scoreless until the fourth inning.
Fordham rallied for two runs in the top of the fifth on RBI singles by Brian Kownacki and Stephen McSherry. The Rams were poised to pad their lead when Tim Swatek lined a single into right field with runners at first and second and two outs but Nick Ferraresi fired a strike to home plate to nail McSherry for the third out.
In the bottom of the inning, Aaron Silbar led off by working out a walk and advanced to second on Jon Eisen's sacrifice bunt. Eric Williams then drove home Silbar with a double just inside the first base bag to make it a 2-2 game.
Dario Pizzano followed with a sharp single to right field to put runners at the corners but Fordham's Zach Small came out of the bullpen to get an inning-ending double play that kept the game tied.
Aurrichio nearly broke the deadlock with a long fly ball to the warning track in right field to start the sixth inning. Billy Rumpke then singled and stole second base on a strikeout for the second out. Rumpke then took third base with Enmanuel Cabreja at the plate as he ran the count to 3-2.
On the ninth pitch of Cabreja's at-bat, he lined one right at the left fielder McSherry who made a small leap to grab it and end the inning.
In the top of the seventh, Fordham used a pair of one-out walks to build a rally. The Lions got the next out on a slow ground ball that allowed both runners to move into scoring position.
With two outs, Swatek took a 1-2 pitch the other way into left field to score the pair and give Fordham a 4-2 advantage.
Rich Anastasi pitched a hitless seventh inning for his third save of the season as Small notched his first win.
Eisen went 2-for-3 at the plate in each end of the doubleheader and now has five multiple-hit games in the last six games. Pizzano was 3-for-6 during the doubleheader and has hit safely in his last nine games.
Columbia is back in action on Friday, April 27 with a doubleheader against Penn beginning at noon. It is the first of a home-and-home series with the Quakers, finishing on Saturday, April 28 at noon on Robertson Field at Satow Stadium in the season finale.
In the third inning of game one, Rob McCunney led off with what was originally a well-struck double to left center field ... Columbia appealed the play and the umpires ruled that McCunney did not touch first base and was ruled out ... Nick Ferraresi's three-run home run in the fourth inning of game one also was originally ruled to have hit the outfield wall and in play ... the umpires quickly conferred and determined it was a home run ... it was Ferraresi's second four-RBI game of the season ... in his first official at-bat this season, Justin Wong lined into a hard-luck double play when the second baseman McCunney leapt to snag a line drive and doubled up the runner at first base to end the inning ... Joey Gandolfo threw a hitless inning of relief in game two ... Eric Williams went 2-for-4 in game two and has eight hits in his last 15 at-bats ... Nick Crucet had a base hit in each end of the twinbill and has five hits in his last nine at-bats ... Jon Eisen and Billy Rumpke each had two stolen bases in game two ... Eisen is now tied for fourth on Columbia's all-time hits list with Garrett Neubart '95 ... Rumpke made an outstanding running catch on a line drive to right center in the fifth inning to save a run ... Ferraresi's outfield assist in game two was his sixth this season ... neither team committed an error in the second game.