Lions Split Sunday's Doubleheader with Cornell, Take Three of Four in the Weekend Series

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Nick Cox set the tone in the opener, cracking a solo home run on the first pitch he saw in the first inning.
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Bobby McDuffie

NEW YORK -- Columbia used some aggressive base running and rode the right arm of Stefan Olson to a 6-0 victory in game one, before Cornell's Connor Kaufmann held the Lions in check in game two, helping lift the Big Red to a 7-1 win.

Game One

Stefan Olson tossed a complete-game, three-hit shutout and the Lions broke open a 2-0 game with a four-run sixth inning on its way to a 6-0 win in the opener.

Nick Cox quickly gave Columbia a 1-0 advantage by depositing the first pitch he saw from Cornell starter Taylor Wood deep over the right-center field fence. 

In the third inning, Jason Banos delivered a two-out RBI single to bring home Nick Crucet, who singled and stole second base with one out, giving the Lions a 2-0 advantage.

In the sixth, Columbia tacked on four runs to push its lead to 6-0.  With runners at the corners after singles by Alexander Aurrichio and Alex Godshall, Godshall stole second base with one out.  Aaron Silbar then drove an RBI single through the drawn-in infield to make it 3-0.

Silbar alertly took second base on a passed ball to put runners at second and third. Reliever Anthony Irigoyen struck out the next batter and the Big Red decided to intentionally walk Cox with first base open and two outs.

After three balls outside, Irigoyen's next pitch sailed to the backstop and Godshall darted home with the fourth Columbia run of the game.  Crucet brought home the next run by beating out an infield single, making it 5-0.  With Crucet at first and Cox at third, Colubmia executed a perfect double steal to push across the fourth run of the inning, putting Columbia ahead 6-0.

Olson walked leadoff man Brian Billigen to start the third inning but then retired the next 13 Big Red hitters he faced until Ben Swinford doubled with one out in the seventh inning.  Olson got the next two men to finish off his brilliant complete game and notch his second win of the season.

Game Two

The second game moved quickly through the first five innings as Columbia starter Geoff Whitaker and Cornell starter Connor Kaufmann kept the game scoreless. Cornell had just three hits through the first five innings, including two Mickey Brodsky doubles, while Columbia had two hits during the first five innings.

In the sixth, Cornell was able to get to Whitaker as Brodsky belted his third straight double, coming with one out.  Frank Hager followed with a single into center that pushed Brodsky to third base and Chris Cruz belted one off the wall in deep right field that scored Brodsky with the first run of the game.

Ben Swinford's RBI double made it 2-0 and with two outs, Ryan Plantier lofted one deep to right field that was helped by the wind, as the ball went off the very top of the right field wall and back into play.  Plantier ended up on third with a two-run triple and the Big Red went ahead 4-0 after the top of the sixth.

In the bottom of the inning, Nick Cox drilled his second home run of the day, a solo shot to straightaway right field, that cut the deficit to 4-1.

Cornell scored three runs against reliever David Speer in the seventh, two coming on a Frank Hager home run, to make it a 7-1 margin.

The Lions got the leadoff man aboard in the seventh and eighth innings but Kaufmann and reliever Houston Hawley were able to work around the base runners.

The Lions won three of four games in the weekend series and hold a 16-16 record with a 6-6 mark in the Ivy League, while Cornell stands at 3-9 in the Gehrig Division.

Columbia is back in action on Wednesday, April 20 with a doubleheader (two seven-inning games) against Manhattan on Robertson Field at Satow Stadium.  First pitch is slated for 2 p.m.

NOTES:

Nick Cox has hit five of his eight career home runs against Cornell ... Cox and teammate Jason Banos are now tied for seventh place on the all-time Columbia hits list (172) with Jorge Livermore '04 ... Cox stands alone in second place in career stolen bases with 68 ... Banos is tied for fifth place all-time in runs batted in (105) with Matt Buckmiller '02 ... the Lions stole five bases without being caught in game one ... as a team, Columbia is 11 for its last 11 in stolen base attempts ... the Lions played errorless baseball in the opener and have made just two errors in their last six games ... Tim Giel pitched two spotless innings of relief to finish the nightcap, striking out five batters in the process ... Columbia received three straight complete games from its pitching staff to begin the series.

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