Baseball had its strongest weekend of play so far this season, sweeping Ivy League competitor Brown in Providence on Friday and Saturday.
After losing two of three to Dartmouth last weekend and a mid-week match-up to Monmouth, the Lions (12-21, 8-4 Ivy) bounced back with an impressive showing against Brown (7-19, 3-9 Ivy). The Light Blue pitching was also more successful than it has been in much of the season, holding the Bears to just six runs in the three-game series.
Game 1: Columbia 8, Brown 2
Sophomore Julian Bury got the offense started with an RBI single in the second and came around to score after a double and a groundout, and the Lions took a 2-0 lead. The Light Blue went on to score one in the fourth and at least one run from the sixth inning onwards, putting up eight runs total for one of its strongest offensive performances of the season.
Bury wound up going three for four on the game with one walk, one RBI, and two runs scored. Junior Joe Engel also added one RBI, with senior catcher Lane Robinette and sophomore designated hitter Liam McGill adding two RBIs each.
Sophomore Jordan Chriss put up one of the best starting pitching performances so far this season for the Lions. Chriss pitched seven innings, giving up six hits, one earned run, one walk, striking out four, and earning his first win of the year.
Game 2: Columbia 5, Brown 4
Brown put up its strongest fight in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, putting up four runs—two unearned—in the fifth inning against the Light Blue’s sophomore starting pitcher Ben Wereski and senior reliever Bryce Barr. The strong fifth from the Bears put the Lions down 1-4, but the offense finally woke up in the seventh inning.
First-year Matt Cerfolio opened up the scoring for the Lions in the seventh with an RBI single that scored Robinette. Engel and Bury tacked on two RBI singles of their own to tie the game at four. Junior Chandler Bengtson doubled in the top of the ninth for his first and only hit of the game, and Engel followed that up with a single which advanced Bengston to third. Bury earned an RBI bunt single that scored Bengtson for his third hit of the game.
Senior Ty Wiest entered the game in the seventh inning after the Light Blue tied the game at four, and earned his second win of the season with two no-hit innings. Junior Lucas Hall closed it out to earn his third save of the year.
Game 3: Columbia 2, Brown 0
The final game of the series was all about the pitching for the Lions, with senior starter Harrisen Egly and sophomore reliever Leo Pollack combining for nine scoreless innings. Egly took a no-hitter into the fourth inning and managed to hold on for five and two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up just three hits and striking out one.
Not to be outmatched, Brown’s starter Garett Delano got through five scoreless innings until the Light Blue finally broke through thanks to a two-out RBI single from McGill in the sixth. One run was all they would need, but the Lions still added an insurance run on a sacrifice fly from sophomore AJ DiFillipo to put them up 2-0.
Pollack entered the game to finish off the sixth inning and never looked back, giving up just one hit—a two-out double in the ninth inning. The sophomore would strike out three and give up zero walks in the three and one-third inning save, his first on the season.
The Light Blue returns to action on Wednesday when they host Fordham at 3:30 p.m., and stays at home when Ivy League competitor Princeton comes to Robertson Field at Satow Stadium.