NEW YORK – Originally scheduled to travel to Queens to take on St. John’s Wednesday, April 16, Columbia will now host the Red Storm at Robertson Field at Satow Stadium. First pitch will now be at 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday’s meeting will be the 37th meeting between the Lions and Red Storm, dating back to 1974. St. John’s holds the all-time series lead at 27-9, but Columbia has come away with wins each of the last two years. The Lions took the 2012 meeting in Queens, 9-6, and posted a 5-3 victory at home last season.
The Lions (16-15) are riding an eight-game win streak after sweeping Princeton in its first Gehrig Division series over the weekend. The quality pitching Columbia has received all season has been supported during the win streak by an offensive surge that has seen the Lions post a 71-27 run differential.
Sophomores Kevin Roy, George Thanopoulos and Thomas Crispi have each earned two wins on the hill during this eight game stretch. Roy has been a terror for opposing hitters, posting a 2.08 ERA with a minuscule .111 batting average against in two starts. Thanopoulos also boasts an ERA under 3.00 at 2.77 with a .250 BAA. In his two starts, Thanopoulos has tallied 15 strikeouts. Crispi has earned his two wins in relief appearances against Rutgers and Princeton. In nine innings of work, Crispi has sat down 12 opposing hitters and is holding batters to a .206 average.
First-year Will Savage has been at the forefront of the Lions offensive charge, batting at a .484 clip with 15 hits and a .529 on-base percentage. The young speedster is 6-for-6 in steal attempts and has crossed the plate 10 times.
Veteran leadership and production has come from field general Mike Fischer. The senior catcher has started all eight games behind the dish and has produced when in the batter’s box, recording a .400 batting average. He has also contributed to the power surge that the Columbia lineup lacked early on, hitting a pair of homers. As a team, Columbia has hit seven home runs in the last eight games after hitting just four through the first 23 contests. In total, Columbia has 33 extra base hits during its win streak.
SCOUTING ST. JOHN’S
The latter part of the season has been more successful for the Red Storm (20-13) as well. After going 3-10 out of the gate, St. John’s is 17-3 in its last 20 matchups. Hosting Butler over the weekend, St. John’s swept the Bulldogs in a three-game set to improve to 4-2 in the BIG EAST.
Shortstop Jarred Mederos leads the Red Storm with a .327 average at the plate and is tied for second with 23 RBI. Outfielder Alex Caruso and first baseman Alex Harris have also produced consistently, hitting at .320 and .301 averages, respectively. Harris paces the team with 27 RBI. Michael Donadio brings the power bat to the lineup, launching four homers and slugging at a .460 clip.
Left-hander Alex Katz has been the primary midweek starter for St. John’s, posting a 1-1 record, 4.50 ERA in 20 innings. His last time out on April 2 against Wagner, Katz tossed six hitless innings, but did give up three walks. As a staff, the Red Storm has a 3.98 ERA and has racked up 233 strikeouts.