Gehrig Division Race Heats Up as Lions Visit Princeton for Four Games
NEW YORK – After both Columbia and Princeton won three of four Ivy League games last weekend, the two teams will meet in a key four-game Gehrig Division series this weekend. The series begins with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 23 at 1 p.m. at Princeton's Clarke Field and continues on Sunday, April 24, also a 1 p.m. start.
Princeton leads Penn by two games and Columbia by three games in the Ivy League’s Gehrig Division, looking for its first Ivy League Championship series berth in five years. Winners of two of the last three Gehrig Division titles, Columbia defeated Cornell in three out of four games last week in New York City and has won four of its last five Ivy League games heading into this weekend.
Fans can follow the games via live stats on both Saturday and Sunday.
BANOS EARNS IVY LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD
On Tuesday, April 19, Columbia senior outfielder Jason Banos was named the Ivy League Player of the Week. Last week, Banos batted .462 with two home runs and six runs batted in during a 4-1 week for the Lions, helping catapult Columbia into the Gehrig Division race. Banos hit safely in four of the five games last week. He clubbed two home runs in a 6-5 Columbia win over Manhattan, with his solo shot in the sixth inning ultimately providing the difference in the game. In Columbia’s critical game-one win over Cornell on Saturday, Banos drove in both of Columbia’s runs in a 2-1 win, delivering the game-winning RBI with a one-out single in the sixth inning that broke a 1-1 deadlock.
Columbia’s pitching staff continues to impress against Ivy League opponents. For the season, the Lions’ hurlers sport a 3.74 earned run average and have struck out 188 batters. In league play, Columbia pitchers have posted a 3.27 ERA as a staff, posting a strikeout to walk ratio of better than three to one.
COX CLOCKS CORNELL
Nick Cox belted a pair of home runs against Cornell in Sunday’s doubleheader, including a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first inning of the Lions’ 6-0 victory. Cox has hit five of his eight career home runs against the Big Red.
BORN TO RUN
As a team, Columbia is 13 for its last 14 stolen base attempts. Columbia stole five bases without being caught in game one on Sunday vs. Cornell and Nick Cox had a pair of stolen bases in that game, pushing his career total to 68, which is second all-time at Columbia.
BORN TO RUN, SIDE B
Columbia ranks first in the Ivy League with 48 stolen bases this season. The Lions are stealing bases at a 78.7% clip and have four players with at least six swipes this season.
WALK THIS WAY
Columbia’s lineup has been the most patient at the plate this season, as the Lions lead the Ivy League with 122 bases on balls.Conversely, Columbia pitchers have walked 116 batters, which ranks third among Ivy League teams.
FINISHING WHAT THEY STARTED
Against Cornell last weekend, Columbia starters tossed three complete games during the four-game set. Pat Lowery, Dan Bracey and Stefan Olson each went the distance in their outings, helping lead the Lions to three wins in the series with the Big Red.
Sophomore right-hander Stefan Olson has not allowed more than two earned runs in any start this season. Over his last three starts, Olson has allowed just one earned run and 11 hits in 22.0 innings. He has struck out 11 and has walked just two batters during that span.
In his start vs. Cornell last Saturday, junior right-hander Pat Lowery was stellar through seven innings, allowing an unearned run on four hits in a complete-game, 2-1 victory over the Big Red.
COLUMBIA AND PRINCETON - THE SERIES
Since 2007, Columbia and Princeton have each won eight times in 16 games, although Columbia won three of four last year from the Tigers in New York City. In a series that dates back to 1868, the two teams played in the first televised sporting event in the United States. On the field currently known as Robertson Field at Satow Stadium, Columbia’s doubleheader with Princeton on May 17, 1939 was broadcast nationwide on NBC.