April 29 | Meiklejohn Stadium | Philadelphia, Pa.
FRIDAY - GAME ONE
PENN - RHP Jake Cousins (5-1, 1.74 ERA, 45 K)
COL - LHP Josh Simpson (4-1, 2.76 ERA, 32 K)
PENN - LHP Adam Bleday (2-3, 3.10 ERA, 65 K)
COL - RHP Jordan Chriss (1-1, 4.02 ERA, 12 K)
SATURDAY - GAME ONE
COL - RHP Ty Wiest (1-3, 4.50 ERA, 27 K)
PENN - LHP Gabe Kleiman (3-0, 4.08 ERA, 26 K)
COL - TBD
PENN - LHP Mike Reitcheck (4-3, 3.04 ERA, 33 K)
• The Lions extended their winning streak to seven after a 13-7 win against Rutgers to close non-conference play.
• Columbia earned a four-game sweep over Princeton, outscoring the Tigers 36-7 in the final two games of the series.
• The Lions sit at 9-7 in Ivy League play and are in second place in the Gehrig Division, two games behind Penn.
• The Quakers dropped their non-conference finale to Villanova, 3-1, Wednesday.
• Penn has won seven of its last eight in Ivy League play after sweeping Princeton and taking 3-of-4 at Cornell last weekend.
• The Quakers boast a strong pitching staff and lead the Ivy League in ERA (3.30) and strikeouts (297).
• Penn is hitting .306 in Ancient Eight games, which is behind only Columbia.
• Tim Graul leads the squad, hitting .374 with 33 RBI. Matt McGeagh has a team-best five homers.
• On the hill, Jake Cousins is a favorite to win Ivy League Pitcher of the Year. He is 5-1 with a 1.74 ERA and 45 strikeouts. Mike Reitcheck and Adam Bleday have been the other primary weekend startes. Reitcheck has four wins and a 3.04 ERA and Bleday leads the conference with 65 strikeouts.
WHAT'S THE SCENARIO?
Columbia must win 3-of-4 to force a one-game playoff with Penn or win all four to take the division outright. If the teams are tied, the playoff would be held next weekend at Robertson Field due to the Lions winning the regular season series.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Columbia is 121-130-3 all-time against Penn. Last year, the Lions took 3-of-4 to wrap up the regular season. Columbia and Penn have battled for the Gehrig Division crown in three of the last four seasons, with a playoff game needed to crown the winner between the teams in 2014 and 2015.
HONORING THE SENIORS
Prior to Friday's twinbill, Columbia will honor the three members of the senior class, Shane Adams, Kyle Bartelman and Ryan Marks, who will be playing their final regular season games at Robertson Field at Satow Stadium.
After only scoring 10 runs twice heading into last weekend's series at Princeton series, the Lions have now done so in three consecutive games. Their offensive prowess of late now has them either first or second in just about every offensive category in league games only. See page five for a full breakdown.
Sophomore Chandler Bengtson was named Ivy League Player of the Week after posting 12 RBI in five games last week, including seven in the final game of the Princeton series. Bengtson leads the team in home runs and is tied for third in the Ivy League, one off the leader's pace. The Fresno, California, native has two grand slams, including one in the Lions' 7-4 upset win at St. John's. His 29 RBI is second on the squad and also ranks ninth in the Ancient Eight
Junior Randell Kanemaru has been a model of consistency, but he is also swinging a hot bat for Columbia. He has his batting average up to .397 to lead the Ivy League and ranks 20th in the NCAA. His 38 RBI are second in the conference and 1.58 hits per game rank in the top-25 nationally. Kanemaru ranks among the Ivy League leaders in nearly every offensive category. He is a two-time All-Ivy League selection and was tabbed a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American in 2014.
Since returning to the lineup full time against Cornell after nursing an injury, Kyle Bartelman has been on fire. In his last 10 games, he is hitting .439 (18-for-41) with three homers and 13 RBI. Despite missing four Ivy League games, Bartelman is second in RBI (18), tied for fourth in hits (23). The Chicago product is second in Ancient Eight contests in batting average (.451) and slugging (.804).
First-years Julian Bury and Liam McGill have made big splashes as regulars in the Columbia lineup. Bury is hitting .315 with 25 runs scored, batting at the top of the lineup and has 12 doubles (with 10 coming in conference play) to rank third in the Ancient Eight. McGill is second on the squad in batting average (.345) and has three homers and 21 RBI. He is second in the Ivy League in on-base percentage (.476), which is the second highest among all NCAA rookies.
THE FUTURE IS NOW
Columbia has had no problem throwing its young pitching into the fire this season. First-years or sophomores have worked 63 percent of the Lions' innings this season. The Lions' weekend rotation has featured three underclassmen with junior Ty Wiest serving as the veteran presence. Sophomore Josh Simpson has been the squad's consistent No. 1 hurler. From there, the Lions have given the ball to sophomore Ethan Abrams, Ian Burns, and first-years Ben Wereski and Jordan Chriss.