NEW YORK - Winners of four of their last six games, the Lions will look to finish the 2012 season with a flourish in a four-game series with Penn this weekend, beginning Friday, April 27 at noon in Philadelphia.
The series will come back to New York City with a doubleheader on Robertson Field at Satow Stadium on Saturday, April 28 at noon. Admission is free to all Columbia baseball home games.
Columbia enters the weekend with a 9-7 record in Ivy League play, having won four of its last five league contests. Penn sits at 7-9 in the Gehrig Division entering this weekend.
Fans can watch the game live via SideLION Pass without audio. Columbia's student radio station, WKCR 89.9 FM, will broadcast Saturday's games. A live blog for Friday and for Saturday, live stats and game notes are available.
THANK YOU, SENIORS
Columbia’s senior class of 2012 will play its last games of their careers on Robertson Field at Satow Stadium on Saturday. The class of Jon Eisen, Billy Rumpke, Harrison Slutsky, Anthony Potter, Zach Epstein, Mark Heil, Alexander Aurrichio and Pat Lowery have combined for 74 wins and 39 Ivy League victories entering the weekend.
GO JONNY GO
Senior infielder Jon Eisen has started 149 games heading into this weekend and has collected 189 base hits during his career, which is tied for fourth all-time in Columbia history. A sparkplug at the top of the order since the start of the 2009 season at Lamar, he has scored 116 runs, which ranks eighth all-time. He was named All-Ivy League in 2010, when he shared the team’s MVP award.
BILLY THE KID
Senior outfielder Billy Rumpke has started 125 games during his career, including every game in center field in 2012. An All-Ivy outfielder in 2010, he has committed just one error in his last three seasons and has collected 120 base hits heading into this weekend. This season he has posted career highs in runs batted in, walks, sacrifice flies and stolen bases.
Senior right-hander Harrison Slutsky has been a workhorse throughout his four year career and has been one of the best relief pitchers in the Ivy League in his final two seasons. He ranks second on Columbia’s all-time appearances list with 52 and has posted a 3.13 ERA this season, the lowest of his career. He has earned two saves this season and has been a part of three combined shutouts during his tenure.
Senior Anthony Potter patrolled first base and the outfield throughout his playing career with boundless energy. He cracked a pair of home runs during his rookie season, including going back-to-back with Mike Roberts in Columbia’s Ivy League opening win against Harvard. He has played an errorless first base this season after doing the same during the 2010 campaign.
Senior right-hander Zach Epstein has been a key part of the Columbia pitching staff during his career. In 2010, he saved Columbia’s thrilling comeback win over Penn to clinch the Gehrig Division title and he recently picked up his first win of the season with six shutout innings over Fordham on Wednesday here at home. This season, opponents are hitting a career low .212 against the right-hander.
YOU’RE ON THE MARK, HEIL
Having battled through injuries throughout his Columbia career, senior catcher Mark Heil has saved his best for last this year. Earlier this season, he doubled and scored a run in Columbia’s 14-2 win over Lehigh. And earlier this month, he launched his first career home run against Manhattan.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT
Senior Alexander Aurrichio has been one of the most feared hitters in the Ivy League during his career. He has made 126 starts over his four years with 23 home runs and 86 runs batted in. A two-time All-Ivy League designated hitter, he has provided a number of clutch hits during his career in and out of Ivy League play, including a game-winning two-run homer in Columbia’s Ivy League opening win over Yale in 2010.
Senior right-hander Pat Lowery will go down as one of Columbia’s greatest pitchers in recent memory. The Ivy League Pitcher of the Year in 2010, he has made 32 starts with eight complete games, two saves and a shutout during his career. Columbia’s number-one starter on the weekends in each of the last three years, he ranks in the top ten in career strikeouts and has posted a career-low ERA this season.
Columbia’s pitching staff has been strong all season and the Lions’ starters have kept that up in Ivy League. In the 16 league games so far, Columbia’s pitching staff has posted a 3.40 earned run average, a mark that is second in the league. Opponents are batting .251 against Lion hurlers and Columbia’s staff leads the league with 109 strikeouts in league play.
BATS HEATING UP
Columbia’s offense is heating up lately as the Lions improved their team batting average to .296 during league play. Columbia scored 16 runs on 24 hits in Saturday’s doubleheader sweep of Princeton. Twelve of those 24 hits on Saturday went for extra bases, including 11 doubles.
Coming into this week, Columbia ranks 36th in the nation in doubles per game with more than two per game. The Lions are 44th overall in doubles. In double plays, Columbia ranks 40th overall and on a per game basis. Columbia has turned 37 double this plays this season, or just shy of one per game.
Junior outfielder Dario Pizzano is batting .385 in Ivy League play and has reached base at a .485 clip. On Wednesday vs. Fordham, Pizzano launched his fourth home run of the season, a towering shot over the head of a fourth outfielder in left center field. It was the 25th home run of his career, tying him with former Major Leaguer Gene Larkin ‘84 for the program record in home runs.
NICK THE STICK
Junior outfielder Nick Ferraresi crushed a three-run home run in the fourth inning of Columbia’s 6-1 win over Fordham on Wednesday in game one. Ferraresi is tied with Dario Pizzano for the team lead with four home runs, leads the team in doubles with 15 and is second with 27 RBI.
NICK THE QUICK
Junior infielder Nick Crucet had a big game in the nightcap against Princeton in Saturday’s doubleheader sweep. Crucet had three hits in four at-bats and drove in three runs. Crucet has five base hits in his last nine at-bats entering the weekend.
Junior right-hander Stefan Olson has won each of his last two decisions after throwing 5 2/3 innings in Columbia’s 8-5 victory over Princeton on Saturday. Olson allowed three runs on six hits to pick up his third win of the season.
WHERE THERE’S A WILLIAMS, THERE’S A WAY
Junior infielder Eric Williams has been on a tear recently. Williams had two base hits in four trips during Columbia’s second game with Fordham. In his last four games, Williams has eight hits in 15 at-bats.