|Runs Per Game||3.3||6.4|
|Hits Per Game||8.8||9.0|
|Opp. Batting Avg.||.361||.244|
The Lions dropped four games in their season-opening series at UNLV. However, Columbia led in three of the four games at one juncture.
The Bulls have won three straight after a 16-1 romp of Bethune Cookman Wednesday. USF started the year with a three-game set against No. 6 North Carolina before taking on No. 5 Florida State. Those teams account for three of its four losses.
USF PLAYERS TO WATCH
Jr. • PC • R/R
.345 • 4 2B • 7 RBI
Jr. • INF • R/R
.308 • 2 HR • 8 RBI
Jr. • OF • L/L
.393 • 3 2B • 1 HR • 4 RBI • 3-4 SB
Columbia and USF will meet for the first time since March 2014. The Lions earned a split of the four-game series in Tampa and are 3-5 all-time against the Bulls.
COLUMBIA AGAINST THE AAC
The Lions are 11-27 against teams currently in the American Athletic Conference. Columbia's last win over an AAC foe was an 11-5 victory at Tulane on Mar. 18, 2017. The Lions' most common foe in the conference is UCF, who they have faced 14 times. Columbia will also face Houston next weekend from March 10-11 to wrap up its spring break trip.
Sophomore Liam McGill picked up right where he left off after his rookie campaign earned him Collegiate Baseball All-America and Second Team All-Ivy League honors. McGill was named Ivy League Player of the Week Monday after going 7-for-13 (.538) with an OPS of 1.394, a homer, three RBI and three runs scored in four games in the desert.
Columbia was picked to finish second in the inaugural Ivy League Preseason Poll. The Lions were selected behind defending Ivy League Champions, Yale, and were followed by Dartmouth and Penn. The conference has also eliminated the Rolfe and Gehrig Divisions and each team will face off in three-game series this season with the top-two regular season finishers earning spots in the Ivy League Championship Series.
Reigning Ivy League Player of the Year, Randell Kanemaru, highlights the long list of returning Columbia players. Kanemaru hit .395, the third highest of any returning student-athlete in the NCAA, to go with seven homers and 432 RBI. At UNLV, he recorded a hit in all four games, extending his hitting streak to 14 games, dating back to the end of last season. Kanemaru has earned All-Ivy League status in each of his three seasons with the Lions, including Rookie of the Year accolades in 2015. The Santa Ana, California, native is a career .342 hitter and is just outside Columbia’s top-10 in all-time batting average, home runs (15) and RBI (95).
BURY NICE TO HAVE YOU BACK
The Lions also bring back the Ivy League Rookie of the Year Julian Bury. Bury hit .333 with 35 runs scored from the leadoff spot and tied with Kanemaru for the team lead with 14 doubles. Bury also established himself as a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder with several diving catches that caught the attention of ESPN and social media.
Senior Ty Wiest will headline the starting staff after a strong junior campaign. Wiest, a two-time team captain, posted a pair of victories with a 4.32 ERA and 35 strikeouts, second-most on the squad.
After three seasons of working out of the bullpen,
Sophomore right-hander Dan Harrington pitched for Team Germany at the U23 European Baseball Championships this past August in Austria, the Czech Republic