This weekend was a successful one for Columbia’s baseball team. The Lions had a pair of doubleheaders—facing off against Dartmouth, the reigning Ivy League champs, and Harvard—and won three of the four matchups, including a 24-1 win over Harvard.
The competition began on Saturday, as the Lions defeated Dartmouth 5-2. The Light Blue and the Big Green remained scoreless through the first two innings, but Columbia put the first run up on the board in the top of the third. Dean Forthun knocked one down the left field line for a double, and Jason Banos followed up with a single to put men on the corners. Nick Crucet drove in Banos and collected an RBI by flying out to center field.
The Big Green didn’t let the Lions keep their lead for long, as they came back in the bottom of the inning to tie it up off of a sacrifice fly.
The top of the fourth saw the Light Blue take the lead again, as Nick Cox led off the inning with a double. Cox advanced to third when Alexander Aurrichio grounded out and then stole home to put the Lions back on top. With the bases empty, Dario Pizzano stepped up the to the plate and smacked out of the park for a solo home run.
Dartmouth’s next at bat failed to put any runs, or even any hits, on the board, allowing Columbia to increase it’s lead in the top of the fifth. Banos singled to get himself on base and then advanced off the bat of Crucet, before making it all the way around the diamond when Cox singled to left field.
The score remained 4-1 until the bottom of the sixth and top of the seventh when the Big Green and the Light Blue each posted another run.
Dartmouth was unable to put together a rally in the bottom of the seventh, as Geoff Whitaker came in and recorded his first save of the season, and so the first game ended with the Lions ahead 5-2.
The second game began similarly with a scoreless first inning. Both teams put up one run in the second inning—for the Lions, sophomore Jon Eisen brought around the RBI.
The Lions took a significant lead in the top of the fourth when they posted three runs to go ahead 4-1. Alex Ferrera began the inning with a lead off single to right center. Forthun then singled through the left side to give Ferrera two bases. Ferrera took home on a passed ball that advanced Forthun to second. After Alex Godshall was walked, Eisen came up to the plate and laid down a bunt that landed him on first base and moved Godshall to second and Forthun to third. Later that inning Cox reached first and brought around Eisen and Godshall on a throwing error.
The Big Green struck back with one run in the bottom of the fourth, but it was the fifth inning that killed the Light Blue as Dartmouth scored five runs on only three hits to take the lead 7-4. Tim Giel, who had started the game for Columbia, retired one out into the fifth inning and Harrison Slutsky filled in, pitching the remaining innings.
The Lions were all out of runs but the Big Green managed to post two more in the top of the eighth to achieve the final score of 9-4.
The story was very different in Cambridge when Columbia took on Harvard. The Lions scored in each of the game’s seven innings, and only scored less than three runs in an inning once on their way to a 24-1 victory.
Initially, the Light Blue put three runs on the board off the bat of Ferraresi, who posted a three-run homer in his first at-bat of the day.
Three more points were added to the tally in the second, and another three in the third when Columbia had yet another three-run homer—this time off the bat of Banos.
Harvard, who was up to this point hitless, finally put up a run in the bottom of the third.
The Lions countered with a four run fourth and a six run fifth.
The sixth inning was the calmest of all as the Light Blue only increased their lead by one, when Pizzano scored on a fielding error at second base.
The final four runs were scored in the top of the seventh with a grand slam by Pizzano.
In the 24-1 slugfest the Lions recorded 24 hits of their own—eight of which went to Pizzano. Pizzano, who is batting .682 in his last six games, recorded eight RBI and scored seven times himself.
The second game’s final score was a more mild 7-4, but the Lions still came out on top, posting a solid 15 hits over nine innings.
The Crimson drew first blood in the bottom of the first, scoring three runs in as many hits with starter Stefan Olson on the mound.
Harvard posted another run in the third, and it wasn’t until the top of the sixth before the Lions could shrink the gap to two to make the score 4-2. The pair of runs came off the bat of Pizzano, who clobbered yet another home run while Ferraresi was on base.
The Lions moved forward in the top of the seventh and took the lead with three runs before shutting it down in the ninth with another two. The RBI from the seventh went to Cox and Ferraresi–who had two–with a double to right center. In the top of the ninth Forthun singled through the left side to bring around Ferrera and Pizzano.
With the three wins, the Lions reach over .500 with an overall record of 15-13, 6-2 in the Ivy League.
Ancient Eight competition continues next weekend for the Light Blue, with a pair of doubleheaders against Princeton at home on Robertson Field.