After getting swept by Yale (12-13, 5-3 Ivy) on Tuesday and falling to Dartmouth (5-16, 2-6 Ivy) in the opener of Saturday’s twin bill, the Light Blue baseball team dropped to 2-3 in Ivy play. But the defending Ivy champions (11-15, 5-3 Ivy) bounced back in Game 2 in Hanover, N.H., and then swept Harvard (5-18, 1-5 Ivy) on Sunday to get their conference record back over .500.
Junior third baseman David Vandercook and first-year second baseman Will Savage led the way offensively as Columbia’s bats got going this weekend. Vandercook finished with nine RBIs in four games, while Savage went 9-for-16 and scored five runs.
“It felt like today [Sunday], guys were relaxed and comfortable, and letting the game come to them a little bit more,” Columbia head coach Brett Boretti said of the Lions’ offensive performance. “We got the running game going a little bit today, and it made for some mistakes that they made in the field in giving us some opportunities, and the guys cashed in on them.”
But the Lions showed few signs of offensive potency in their first game. The Light Blue dropped game 1 to Dartmouth despite a solid start from senior lefty David Speer, who gave up two runs in six innings of work and did not walk a single Big Green batter.
After falling behind early, Columbia tacked on a pair of runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game at two, but ultimately fell in extra innings. After the Lions went down in order in the top of the 10th, Dartmouth outfielder Jeff Keller doubled in shortstop Matt Parisi to give the Big Green a 3-2 walk-off win.
Columbia rebounded in game 2 behind another strong start from sophomore righty George Thanopoulos. He followed up his impressive Ivy League debut on March 31 with a seven-inning, six-strikeout performance, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned.
“The second game was big for us, to kind of pick ourselves up, especially after we fell behind 3-0,” Boretti said. “George Thanopoulos did an outstanding job rebounding and settling in, and giving us a chance to get our offense going, and guys responded.”
The Lions drew even in the top of the third and took the lead in the top of the seventh, holding on to come away with a 5-4 win. Vandercook had three doubles and three RBIs in the win.
The Light Blue bats really came alive in game 1 of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Crimson. Vandercook came up big again, blasting a grand slam in the top of the sixth to give the Lions a 12-4 lead on their way to a 12-6 victory.
Columbia sophomore righty Kevin Roy got the start in Sunday’s game 2. After getting saddled with a loss despite giving up just two runs in five innings against Yale on Tuesday, Roy was effective against the Crimson in his second-career Ivy League start en route to an 8-3 Light Blue win. Roy gave up just one run and no walks in six innings of work, striking out six and improving to 2-3 on the season.
The Lions will be back in action Tuesday when they take on St. Johns in Queens at 3 p.m.