WORCESTER, Mass. - Columbia starters Pat Lowery and Tim Giel each pitched masterful games, Nick Ferraresi hit two-run home runs in each end of the doubleheader and the Lions defeated Holy Cross 6-0 in game one and 3-1 in game two on Saturday afternooon.
Game 1 Recap
Pat Lowery pitched brilliantly for seven innings, finishing off a complete game shutout as Columbia gained a late cushion in a 6-0 victory in game one.
After that point, Lowery and Holy Cross left-hander Nate Koneski locked up in a pitchers' duel as neither team scored until the Lions posted three runs in the sixth inning.
Ferraresi led off the Columbia half of the sixth with a double just inside the third-base bag that went into the left field corner. Pinch-hitter Robb Paller drew a walk and Ferraresi came home on an errant pickoff try at first base that gave Columbia a 3-0 lead.
David Vandercook then worked a 10-pitch at-bat against Koneksi, eventually drawing a walk that led to Koneski's exit. With runners at the corners and one out, Aaron Silbar laid down a perfect squeeze bunt that plated Paller with the second run of the inning. Mike Fischer's two-out RBI single scored Vandercook, giving Columbia a 5-0 lead after the top of the sixth inning.
Lowery retired the side in order in the bottom of the sixth and in the top of the seventh, Columbia added one more run to make it 6-0. Dario Pizzano led off with his third hit of the day, stole second base, advanced on a fly ball and came around to score on Paller's RBI single.
In the bottom of the seventh, Lowery worked around a one-out single and finished the game with his seventh strikeout, getting Mike Ahmed looking at a called third strike on the outside corner.
Lowery allowed just four singles and did not walk anyone in seven innings of work to earn the complete-game win.
Pizzano had three hits in four at-bats and scored two runs in the win. Ferraresi and Alex Black each had two hits for the Lions.
Game 2 Recap
Tim Giel pitched seven strong innings and David Spinosa worked out of a bases-loaded, nobody out jam in the eighth then pitched a scoreless ninth for his first collegiate save. Nick Ferraresi also hit a two-run homer for the second straight game as Columbia won 3-1 to complete the sweep.
In a scoreless game in the top of the third inning, Eric Williams led off the frame by dropping down a well-placed bunt single between the mound and the third base line. Two batters later, Ferraresi deposited one over the left field wall, in nearly the same location as his first home run of the day, and Columbia led 2-0.
Giel did not allow a hit through the first four innings until the Crusaders' Chris Sintetos blooped a single into right field with one out in the fifth. The next batter, Andrew Barry, lined one off Giel's glove that dropped to his feet. Giel quickly picked up the ball and started a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning and keep the Lions in front, 2-0.
With two outs in the seventh, Jon Eisen was down 0-2 and fouled off five pitches in a 12-pitch at-bat, finally ending on a sharp single to left center against Holy Cross starter Matt Croglio on a 3-2 count.
After Eisen stole second base, Williams ripped his third hit of the day, a double off the wall down the right field line to score Eisen and give the Lions a 3-0 advantage.
The score remained 3-0 until the bottom of the eighth inning. Sintetos greeted Giel with a double into the left-center field gap to start the frame. The Crusaders loaded the bases and scored a run with nobody out against reliever George Thanopoulos, making it a 3-1 game.
David Spinosa came on in a bases-loaded, nobody out situation and retired Mike Ahmed on a fly ball to shallow right. Spinosa then got number-three batter Patrick Puentes on a popup to second base for the second out. Cleanup batter Steven Wadsworth then struck out looking at a fastball on the outside corner as Spinosa kept the score at 3-1.
Spinosa worked around a hit batter with one out in the ninth and nailed down the save, giving Columbia the doubleheader sweep.
Eisen was 2-for-5 with a run scored and Williams was 3-for-4 with a run batted in during game two. Giel allowed just three hits in seven innings to earn the win.
Columbia returns to action on Wednesday, March 28 at Robertson Field at Satow Stadium against Army for a 3:30 p.m. start.
Pat Lowery's complete game shutout was the first of his career ... Lowery recorded 11 groundball outs in the opener ... Columbia stole five bases in five attempts in the doubleheader ... the Lions also played errorless baseball during the two games ... Columbia's pitching staff allowed just seven hits in the two games ... the Lions turned three double plays in the twinbill, including a line-drive double play started by Dario Pizzano in left field that caught a runner at second base to end the fourth inning of game two ... Pizzano also made a nice over the shoulder basket catch on a fly ball near the wall in left field in the first inning of game one ... Nick Ferraresi hit both of his home runs on 0-1 counts ... David Spinosa struck out three in two innings of work in game two.