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Nick Ferraresi dove home to score the winning run in game one on Saturday.
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

Columbia Sweeps Princeton on Saturday, Wins Series Three Games to One

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 04/21/2012
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Game 1 Box Score | Game 2 Box Score | Video: Eric Williams Postgame

NEW YORK - In an entertaining day of baseball on Robertson Field at Satow Stadium, Columbia scored twice in the seventh to come back and defeat Princeton 8-7 in game one and got out to a quick start in game two and captured the nightcap, 8-5.

With the two wins, Columbia won the four-game series, three games to one and improves its Ivy League record to 9-7.

Game 1 Recap

In a game that had all the twists and turns of a nine-inning game, Columbia and Princeton handed the lead back and forth to each other in the seven-inning opening game on Saturday afternoon.

In the end, Columbia scored twice in the bottom of the seventh, with Nick Ferraresi scoring the winning run on a wild pitch to give Columbia the 8-7 win.

Princeton gained a fast 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning of game one. Matt Bowman led off the game with a single, then the Tigers took advantage of three Columbia errors to push across three runs.

Columbia responded in the bottom of the inning, scoring four times to take a 4-3 lead. The Lions put together five doubles in the inning to gain the lead.

Eric Williams doubled with one out and was brought home by Dario Pizzano's RBI double. Two batters later, Robb Paller doubled home Pizzano to make it 3-2. Billy Rumpke then took one the other way for a run-scoring double to tie the game. Enmanuel Cabreja's RBI double finished the inning's scoring and put Columbia in front, 4-3.

The Lions made it 5-3 in the second on Pizzano's sacrifice fly, scoring Jon Eisen, who doubled (what else?) with one out.

Princeton scored once in the third and once again in the fifth to tie the game, 5-5. In the fifth, the Tigers loaded the bases with nobody out. Columbia starter David Speer got Steve Harrington looking at strike three then handed the ball off to Harrison Slutsky in relief.

Slutsky retired Alec Keller on a fly ball to left that scored the tying run but stranded the two remaining runners on a ground ball to end the inning.

With the game tied at 5-5 in the bottom of the fifth, Pizzano was at second base with one out for Paller. Paller delivered his second run-scoring double of the game, a line drive down the right field line to score Pizzano as Columbia regained the lead, 6-5.

The Tigers answered back in the top of the sixth when John Mishu's two-out single scored Alex Flink, who doubled to start the inning.

Bowman held Columbia scoreless in the bottom of the sixth inning and allowed Princeton to take the lead 7-6 in the top of the seventh.

Williams greeted Bowman with a single on the first pitch to start the bottom of the seventh. Bowman exited and Michael Fagan came on in relief.

Fagan walked Pizzano and Ferraresi to quickly load the bases. He responded with a strikeout and then faced Rumpke with one out.

With the tying run at third and the winning run at second, Rumpke took a 3-2 pitch back through the middle and into center field. Pinch-runner Jordan Serena tied the game but center fielder Tom Boggiano made a perfect throw to the plate to cut down the winning run and keep it a 7-7 game for the time being.

Fagan then uncorked a wild pitch to push runners to second and third and eventually walked Cabreja on four pitches.

With Nick Crucet at the plate and the bases loaded with two outs, Fagan's 1-0 pitch sailed to the backstop and allowed Ferraresi to break to the plate. Ferraresi dove into home to score the winning run and was mobbed by his teammates in the on-deck circle.

Williams was 3-for-4 in the game and Eisen, Paller and Rumpke collected two hits apiece for Columbia. Slutsky earned his first win of the season with 2 2/3 innings of relief work. Speer struck out six and allowed three earned runs in 4 1/3 innings.

Game 2 Recap

After an exhilarating two-hour and twenty-minute game one, the two teams played another exciting game in the nightcap. The Lions led 4-1 after two innings and pulled away with three runs in the seventh to win it, 8-5.

Columbia scored twice in the first inning against Princeton starter Kevin Link. Nick Ferraresi's RBI single and Alexander Aurrichio's RBI groundout plated the first two runs of the game in support of Columbia starter Stefan Olson.

The Tigers scored one in the second but the Lions answered with two in their half of the second. Mike Fischer doubled home Nick Crucet with one out to make it 3-1 and Eric Williams cracked a two-out double to score Fischer and make it a 4-1 game.

With Columbia ahead 5-2 in the sixth, Princeton touched Columbia starter Stefan Olson for two runs to get within a run at 5-4.

George Thanopoulos came on in relief to limit Princeton, getting a key double play ball off the bat of Sam Mulroy in the seventh to keep the game at 5-4.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Lions scored three against Princeton reliever A.J. Goetz. After an RBI triple in the third, Crucet delivered another clutch hit, a two-run double that made it a 7-4 game in favor of the Lions.

Crucet promptly stole third base and came home to score on Aaron Silbar's sacrifice fly, giving the Lions an 8-4 edge.

Princeton got one run back in its half of the eighth but David Spinosa came into the game to retire Alec Keller on a lineout to center field for the second out in the inning. Spinosa then struck out Matt Bowman to end the inning, keeping the Lions in front, 8-5.

Princeton got its first two runners on base in the ninth but Spinosa got Mike Ford to ground into a 6-4-3 double play and then retired Steve Harrington on a ground ball to nail down his fourth save of the season.

Eisen (2-for-4) had his second multiple-hit game of the day and Crucet went 3-for-4 with three RBI, finishing a home run shy of the cycle.

Olson allowed three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings to pick up his third win of the season. Spinosa pitched a hitless 1 2/3 innings for the save.

Columbia is next in action against Fordham on Wednesday, April 25 on Robertson Field at Satow Stadium at 2 p.m.

NOTES:

Cornell defeated Penn in its first game on Sunday and eliminated the Lions from contention for the Gehrig Division crown, despite Columbia's series victory over Princeton ... the Lions are now a game back of the defending Ivy League champions for second place in the division ... it was Columbia Baseball Homecoming Day and a great crowd of more than 500 people filled Satow Stadium and around Baker Athletics Complex ... the games were played under sunny skies and 70-degree temperatures in New York City ... Dario Pizzano, Robb Paller and Billy Rumpke each drove in two runs in game one ... there were 10 doubles hit in game one, seven by Columbia ... Nick Ferraresi made a fantastic diving grab of a line drive by Matt Bowman to save a run and end the fourth inning in game one ... Jon Eisen made a nice play on a bunt in the seventh inning of game one to throw out the lead runner at second base ... Stefan Olson has recorded a decision in each of his eight starts and has won his last two ... Columbia has an 8-4 record at home this season.

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