Baseball came away with a win in the first game of the Ivy League Championships Series on Tuesday afternoon as the team defeated Yale 4-0.
The second game of the series was postponed by rain, and the Lions will have to wait until Wednesday as they try to win their first title since 2015.
The last time the Lions played in the conference championship series, they dropped the first game to Dartmouth before bouncing back to win games two and three and advance to the NCAA Regionals.
Tuesday’s game got off to a slow start and remained scoreless through six innings. Notably, the Light Blue’s offensive effort was not led by any single player, and was instead the result of many individual efforts, reflecting the depth of its bench.
Columbia finally broke the scoreless tie in the top of the seventh when junior center fielder Ben Porter hit an RBI triple to right field to score first-year third baseman Matt Cerfolio and earn the first run of the series.
Then, in the top of the eighth, the Light Blue offense came alive to score three runs and secure the win for the team. With junior shortstop Joe Engel and junior first baseman Chandler Bengtson on base, sophomore right fielder Julian Bury’s single to left made the score 2-0. RBIs from senior catcher Lane Robinette and first-year second baseman Jack Chernow then gave the Lions a four run lead that would get them through the rest of the game.
The Light Blue pitchers struggled when the teams faced off earlier this season in late March, giving up a total of 23 runs over three games, despite Columbia winning the series 2-1.
But on Tuesday afternoon, the Lions’ pitchers were in top form, with senior right-handed pitcher Harrisen Egly—who recently graduated from SEAS—allowing four hits, walking two and striking out six over seven shutout innings of work.
Fellow senior right-handed pitcher Ty Wiest then took the mound in the bottom of the eighth, striking out one and retiring every batter he faced over the next two innings.
Looking ahead to tomorrow, the Lions will hope to make quick work of the Bulldogs in game one of the doubleheader and avoid a third game. The first pitch is slated for 11:30 a.m. at Yale Field in New Haven, with game two set to begin at 3 p.m. if necessary. Should the Lions win either game, they will take home an Ancient Eight crown.