Lions Complete Impressive Game-Two Rally to Finish Season with a Win
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- In a wild day of baseball that featured eight lead changes during the two games, Columbia dropped the opener at Penn when Spencer Branigan hit a two-run home run with two outs in the seventh to win 6-5, but the Lions regrouped and rallied from an early 6-0 deficit in game two to capture a riveting 11-10, come-from-behind win.

Game One

The Lions took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Alex Ferrera hit a solo shot to deep center field with one out agaist Penn starter John Beasley. 

Mike Fischer followed by drawing a walk on a 3-2 pitch and Jon EIsen singled to put runners on the corners as the Lions scratched out an unearned run to take a 2-0 lead.

Penn came back with three runs in its half of the second, scoring on a run-scoring triple by Brandon Engelhardt, an RBI single by Rick Brebner and an RBI single by Adrian Lorenzo to move ahead 3-2 against Lion starter Dan Bracey.

Jason Banos led off the Columbia third with a single and two batters later, Beasley plunked Eric Williams with a pitch, putting two runners on base for Ferrera.

Ferrera socked his third home run of the week, another towering drive to center field that put Columbia back in front, 5-3.

Will Davis homered with two outs in the third to cut the Columbia advantage to 5-4, where the score remained until the seventh.

Alex Ott gained his first win of the season for Penn atter he pitched a scoreless seventh inning.

Game Two

Penn scored five times in the first inning and once in the second to take a quick 6-0 lead over Columbia to start game two but resilient as always, Columbia came back.

With two outs in the third, Jason Banos singled home Billy Rumpke, who drew a leadoff walk earlier in the frame.  Alexander Aurrichio followed with a booming double to right center that scored Banos and Nick Crucet, who also drew a walk, making it a 6-3 game.

Aurrichio struck again in the fifth, tying the game at 6-6 on a three-run home run, his fourth of the season. 

Eric Williams followed with a double the other way into left center against Penn starter Chris McNulty, who left the game after that.  Alex Ferrera greeted reliever Patrick Brennan with a two-base hit and both runners came around to score when Rumpke delivered a two-run single into right field that put Columbia in front for the first time in the game, 8-6.

Penn came back to score three times in the bottom half of the inning to regain a 9-8 advantage but Columbia kept the pressure on.

In the sixth, Banos belted a run-scoring double to tie the game at 9-9 and Banos came through again in the seventh inning.

With the bases loaded and two outs, Banos squared off agaist left-handed reliever Alex Ott, Penn's fourth pitcher of the game.  On a 2-1 pitch, Banos ripped a single that scored two runs and gave the lead back to Columbia, 11-9.

Meanwhile, Zack Tax was effective in relief for the Lions and despite Mike Mariano's solo home run to lead off the seventh, Columbia remained ahead 11-10.  Tax eventually notched his second win of the season and first in Ivy League play.

Tim Giel then came on in relief and pitched two spotless innings in relief to nail down his fifth save of the season, the most ever for a Columbia pitcher in a season since the stat was initiated in college baseball in 1982.

Columbia finishes the 2011 campaign with a 19-25 record and 9-11 mark in the Ivy League.


Alexader Aurrichio went 2-for-4 with five RBI in game two ... Billy Rumpke reached base four times in game two, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored ... Eric Williams went 3-for-5 in game two ... Dario Pizzano finished the 2011 season with 102 total bases, which rank eighth all-time in a single season ... Jason Banos was 6-for-9 with three runs scored and four RBI, all in game two of the doubleheader ... Banos finishes his career second in games started (169), tied for fifth in base hits (186), third in doubles (44), runs scored (124), tied for 10th in home runs (16), fourth in runs batted (115) and sixth in total bases (284) ... Nick Cox sat out the final two and a half games due to injury but finished his career second all-time at Columbia in stolen bases (70), seventh in base hits (177), tied for seventh in doubles (36), eighth in runs scored (113), tied for eighth in triples (7) and ninth in total bases (251) ... Alex Ferrera hit three home runs this week, cncluding a pair in the opener at Penn ... Ferrera finished his career with 19 career dingers, which ranks seventh all-time at Columbia ... this senior class has been a part of 78 career wins and 45 Ivy League victories ... the 45 Ivy League wins are the second most in program history, one behind the class of 2010.