NEW YORK - The Columbia baseball team continues westward to
Arizona this weekend for a trio of games against the Wildcats at Hi Corbett
Field, marking the first time in program history the Lions will take on a
defending national championship team. The series runs from March 8-10, with
Friday and Saturday's games beginning at 8 p.m. EST and Sunday's finale
starting at 3 p.m. EST.
LAST TIME OUT
Columbia (0-4) will look for its first win of the fresh season after being
swept by Lamar last weekend, which is receiving votes in the latest National
Baseball Collegiate Writers Association (NBCWA) poll.
The Lions fell 5-1 in their season opener in Beaumont, Texas
after Lamar's Eric Harrington tossed a complete game allowing one run on five
hits. On the second day of action, the Lions dropped both ends of a
doubleheader to the Cardinals by scores of 7-5 and 9-5. Columbia rallied late
but could not overcome an early four-run deficit in part one of the
doubleheader. Alex Black went 2-for-2 with two runs scored as he cranked his
first home run of the season and added a double to lead the Lions at the plate.
Aaron Silibar also stepped it up as he went 2-for-3 with a double and RBI. In
the series finale, Columbia recorded nine hits but was shut down by the strong
arms of Lamar's pitching staf, falling 6-0. Nick Crucet led the Lions at the
plate, going 2-for-3 with one stolen base and one sacrifice hit. Aaron Silibar
was also 2-for-3 on the day, increasing his batting average on the season to
ALL-TIME SERIES VS.
The Lions enter the weekend with a clean slate, as the upcoming three-game
set marks the first meeting in program history between Columbia and Arizona.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Arizona (10-3) continues an 18-game homestand against the Lions this weekend at
Hi Corbett Field.
The Wildcats lead the nation in triples per game (1.0) and
sacrifice flies (14 overall) while checking in at sixth in stolen bases (33
overall). Trent Gilbert is ranked first in the nation with five triples on the
season and third with 0.38 triples per game.
TWO-TIMES THE FUN
Columbia currently leads the nation in double plays as part of a three-way tie
with Penn and Indiana, as each team is averaging 1.5 per outing. Jordan Serena
picked up the first stolen base of the year for the Lions in their season
opener, and Nick Crucet added the team's second of the season in the series
finale against Lamar.
The 2013 Lions feature 20 returning letterman, including second team All-Ivy
first baseman Alex Black and honorable mention All-Ivy selections Stefan Olson
and Nick Ferraresi. Columbia has 10 position players with starting experience
and nine pitchers that recorded innings last season. A talented class of 10
newcomers, including outfielder Joey Falcone, the 2011 CUNY and ECAC Rookie of
the Year transfer from the College of Staten Island, rounds out the Columbia
veterans. The Lions ended the 2012 season with 21 wins and a 12-8 Ivy League
record. It was the second 20-win season and Ivy League winning season for the
program in the last three years.
CAPTAINS MAKE IT
Columbia seniors Alex Black, Tim Giel and Nick Ferraresi will serve as
Columbia's captains in the 2013 season. All three are All-Ivy League players
and vocal leaders on and off the diamond.
FERRARESI HAS CLASS
Nick Ferraresi was recently selected as a candidate for the 2013 Senior CLASS
Award. He is one of 30 NCAA baseball student-athletes in the running for the
prestigious honor. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for
Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete
and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive
impact as leaders in their communities. To be eligible for the award, a
student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have
notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom,
character and competition.
Columbia racked up a variety of preseason accolades prior to kicking off the
2013 season. Among Ivy League players, CollegeBaseballInsider.com named senior
outfielder Nick Ferraresi the conference's "most underrated hitter,"
Nick Crucet the "best baserunner" and Mike Fischer the "best
defensive catcher." From a leadership standpoint, Columbia head coach
Brett Boretti was picked as the "best game coach." Baseball America also
previewed each league and predicted Columbia right-handed pitcher Tim Giel to
be the Ivy League Pitcher of the Year.