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Senior Randell Kanemaru will lead baseball to the ILCS, where it will hope to defeat Yale and win an Ivy League Championship.

Baseball (18-27, 13-8 Ivy) will compete against Yale (22-19, 15-6) in the Ivy League Championship Series on May 22nd and 23rd (if necessary). All matches will take place at Yale Field in New Haven, Connecticut.

Yale and Columbia finished first and second, respectively, in the Ivy League standings this season.

Offensively, Yale and Columbia match up well, producing near identical stats. Both schools have scored an average of 5.2 runs per game. Columbia has averaged 9.1 hits per game on the season while Yale has produced 8.9. Columbia’s lineup leans more towards greater power hitting, batting in more doubles (70 to Yale’s 55), triples (13 to 7), and home runs (24 to 16).

Yale counter’s Columbia’s slight offensive advantage with superior pitching. Yale’s collective ERA is a full 2.25 lower than Columbia’s brutal 6.15 mark. Yale pitchers have also allowed batters to base at a substantially lower rate than Columbia. Yale has held opposing batters to a .254 batting average, whereas Columbia’s lineup has allowed opponents to hit .307.

Pitching will likely be the story of the day on Tuesday, where the Lions and the Bulldogs will face off in a double-header.

In the first game, Columbia is expected to start senior right-hander Harrisen Egly, who will enter the competition with a 2-3 record on the year and a 4.34 ERA in 56 innings pitched. He will face off against Yale pitcher Scott Politz, who has managed a 5-3 record and 3.01 ERA in 80.2 innings pitched.

In game 2, Columbia is expected to start sophomore right-hander Jordan Chriss. Chriss has struggled as of late, putting up a 2-6 overall record and 6.11 ERA in just over 45 innings. He will go up against Eric Brodkowitz, who has amassed a 2.90 ERA and 6-2 record on the year.

Despite the apparent advantage for the Bulldogs, the competition is well within the Light Blue’s grasp. They competed against Yale in a three-game series earlier this season in late March and came away winning two of three due, in large part, to their superior offense. The first two matches of that series, played in a double-header at Columbia’s Satow Stadium on March 24th, finished 11-10 and 6-5, respectively. Both wins for the Lions. They went on to lose the final game of that series 2-8.

The Lions’ offense is spearheaded by the triumvirate of sophomore Liam McGill, junior Joe Engel, and junior Chandler Bengtson, all of whom have started all 45 games this season for the Lions. McGill and Engel have both managed a .322 batting average, while Bengtson hit a team-high ten home runs.

This will be Columbia’s first appearance in the Ivy League Championship Series since the 2015 season when they faced off against and triumphed over Dartmouth, winning two of three away.

This will also be head coach Brett Boretti’s sixth appearance in the ILCS as Columbia’s Head Coach. The team had previously reached and won four times during his tenure, in 2008 and three seasons in a row from 2013-2015.

The double-header will begin at 12:05 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22nd at Yale Field. The second match of the day will begin approximately 30 minutes after the completion of game one. The third match will take place the following day if necessary.

ethan.delehman@columbiaspectator.com | @CUSpecSports

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