Five-Run Seventh Propels Columbia Past St. John's, 9-6 in Midweek Tilt
QUEENS, N.Y. - Columbia tied the game with two runs in the fifth inning and scored five times on four hits in the seventh inning to ultimately capture a 9-6 victory over St. John's on a cool Tuesday afternoon at Jack Kaiser Field.
In the third inning, Ferraresi cranked his second double of the game off the center field wall with two outs. Alex Black followed with a ground single that found the hole on the left side to plate Ferraresi with Columbia's second run.
After Columbia starter Joey Donino breezed through the first two innings, St. John's came back with four runs in its half of the third inning.
George Thanopoulos came on in relief with a runner at second base and nobody out. After issuing a walk to the first batter he faced, Thanopoulos got a 6-4-3 double play and struck out Zach Lauricella to keep the Lions within striking distance at 4-2.
In the fifth, Columbia mounted a two-out rally when Ferraresi drew a two-out walk from starter Eddie Molina. Black followed with a single and Alexander Aurrichio hit a sharp single into right center to bring Columbia within a run.
With Black at third and Aurrichio at first base and two outs, Aurrichio broke for second base on a delayed steal. Aurrichio slid in safely ahead of the catcher's throw to second and Black came home to score the tying run, making it a 4-4 game.
Dario Pizzano drew a four-pitch walk to start the frame and Ferraresi laced a single into right center to advance Pizzano to third base.
St. John's summoned reliever Stephen Rivera from the bullpen to face Black but Black was able to lift a deep fly ball to left field to score Pizzano with the go-ahead run.
Aurrichio then ripped his second RBI single into center field to give Columbia a 6-4 advantage. Jordan Serena came to the plate and dropped down a beautiful bunt down the third base line. Rivera fielded it but threw wide of first base, allowing runners to move up to second and third with one out.
With the infield playing in to cut down a run at the plate, Aaron Silbar ripped a bullet down the third-base line and into the left field corner for extra bases. Two runs scored to make it 8-4 and an RBI triple by Mike Fischer, his third hit of the game, capped the scoring for Columbia in the seventh.
St. John's scored twice in the eighth inning to get a little closer but David Spinosa was able to pitch a scoreless ninth inning to shut the door.
Ferraresi was 3-for-4 with three runs scored in the game. Fischer also had three hits. Black and Aurrichio had two hits and drove in two runs for Columbia.
Kleban earned his first win of the season with a scoreless sixth inning. Jerome Werniuk took the loss for the Red Storm.
The win was Columbia's first against St. John's since 2003 as the Lions have won 10 of their last 13 games going into the start of Gehrig Division play this weekend at first-place Cornell. The four-game series starts this Saturday, April 14 in Ithaca, N.Y. at noon.
Columbia turned three double plays on the infield, all started by Aaron Silbar at shortstop ... Mike Fischer threw out three runners attempting to steal a base, including two runners in the fourth inning ... the triple was Fischer's second of the season ... Columbia had three stolen bases in the game ... the Lions pounded out 13 hits ... Jon Eisen's first-inning single extended his hit streak to 18 games ... Dario Pizzano drew two walks and has reached base in 22 consecutive games ... Cory Osetkowski made his first appearance this season and induced a double play ground ball to end the fifth inning with no runs scoring ... George Thanopoulos pitched two scoreless innings, did not allow any hits and struck out two ... Zach Epstein worked around two walks in the seventh inning to pitch a scoreless frame ... Joey Donino made his first collegiate start and struck out three ... Columbia's four, five and six batters combined for seven base hits in 13 at-bats.