Baseball Forces One-Game Gehrig Division Playoff with Saturday Split Against Penn
NEW YORK - Twenty Ivy League contests were not enough to determine a Gehrig Division winner, as Columbia and Penn split Saturday's doubleheader to finish Ivy League tied play at 15-5. Penn captured game one, 3-2, but Columbia bounced back with a 5-2 decision in game two, forcing a one-game playoff next weekend.
The time and location of the game are yet to be decided. Winning percentage against the Ivy League team with next best record will be used to determine the host site. Cornell, Yale and Dartmouth are each still in contention for the third-best conference record. If Cornell has the best record, Columbia would earn host duties, while Penn earns that honor if Dartmouth or Yale finishes with the better record. If two of those teams end the season tied with the third best record, the combined winning percentage against them would be used to determine the host.
Yale has a one game advantage in the standings at 9-9 with two games left to play at home against Brown Sunday. Cornell is 8-10 with two road games remaining at Princeton on Sunday, while Dartmouth is 7-9 with four games against Harvard. Dartmouth and Harvard are set for doubleheaders on Sunday and Tuesday. Ivy League baseball standings can be found HERE.
GAME ONE RECAP
A valiant Columbia comeback looked to be in the works in the bottom of the seventh inning, but the Lions came up just one run short, falling to Penn, 3-2.
Down 3-0 heading to the final half inning, the Columbia offense strung together three singles with one out to score its first run. John Kinne got things going with a drive out to right field, with Nick Maguire following it up with a single to center. Logan Boyher entered the game, running for Maguire with the top of the order in Jordan Serena coming to the dish.
Serena hit a screamer through the left side, bringing in Kinne to make it a 3-1 contest. A Will Savage fielder's choice gave Columbia runners on first and third with two down. David Vandercook stood in and slapped a bloop single that landed inside the right field line, scoring Boyher, and cutting the deficit to just a single run. Unfortunately, Penn starter Ronnie Glenn was able to get a ground out to first base to finish off his first complete game of the season with a 3-2 victory.
Columbia starter Kevin Roy went 5.2 innings, allowing just five hits and two runs while striking out four. Glenn went the full seven, allowing eight hits and the two earned runs, while striking out three.
Savage and Vandercook both had two hits for Columbia in four at bats. Ryan Mincher was the lone Quaker with more than one hit, going 2-for-3, while scoring once.
GAME TWO RECAP
Gus Craig racked up nine hits this weekend against the Quakers, none more important than his two-RBI double in the fourth inning that gave the Lions a 3-1 lead and the momentum it needed to lock up the second game Sunday, keeping the Lions' season alive.
Craig went 2-for-4 in the contest and also drove in Columbia's first run in the second inning. Senior Joey Donino improved to 3-3 on the hill for Columbia, striking out six, while allowing just three hits and one run in 5.1 innings.
Penn scored in the top of the first on an RBI-single by Matt Greskoff, but it would be the only Quaker run in Donino's time on the mound.
Columbia knotted the game at 1-1 in the second. Robb Paller was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and scored two batters later on Craig's single to centerfield.
In the fourth, Paller led off the inning with a double, followed by Aaron Silbar getting hit by a pitch to give Columbia two base runners with no outs. Craig stood in and did what he has all weekend, blast a clutch hit, scoring both his teammates to give Columbia the 3-1 lead.
Paller and Silbar added to the Columbia lead in the fifth frame, each recording an RBI. Paller's came on a fielder's choice play that scored Serena, while Silbar hit a sacrifice fly to plate Will Savage.
Penn threatened to get back into the game when it loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, but Adam Cline came on in relief and induced a double play on his second pitch to end the threat.
The Quakers got one run back in the seventh on a Mike Vilardo RBI, but Cline and Mike Weisman shut out the other side the rest of the way to clinch the 5-2 win for Columbia.