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Catcher Mike Fischer is batting .429 over Columbia's last five games.
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

Columbia Tangles with Harvard, Dartmouth on the Road This Weekend

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 04/05/2012
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NEW YORK - Winners of seven of its last eight games, Columbia will get back to Ivy League play this weekend with doubleheaders at Harvard and at Dartmouth. In Columbia’s last Ivy League weekend, the Lions won three out of four, sweeping a doubleheader with Yale and winning the second game with Brown, 14-6, after the Bears took the opener, 4-3.

The Lions will take on Harvard for two games on Saturday, April 7 beginning at noon in Boston. Live stats are available for Saturday's doubleheader.

On Sunday, Columbia faces Dartmouth in a doubleheader, also set to start at noon in Hanover, N.H. Fans can watch live via SideLION Pass and follow live stats.

EXTRA SPECIAL
Columbia is returning from a 7-6, 10-inning win against Rutgers on Wednesday afternoon. The Lions rallied from deficits of 4-1 and 6-5 to grab the victory, its second win this season in extra innings.

NORTHERN EXPOSURE
After 14 games on the road to start the season, Columbia’s offense has picked up since returning to the northeast. In its last 10 games, the Lions are batting .309 as a team with 33 of its 96 hits going for extra bases. Columbia has outscored opponents 61-40 and its pitching staff has posted a 3.80 earned run average during that span.

PIZZANO’S BAT HEATING UP
Junior outfielder Dario Pizzano has hit safely in his last 11 games and leads the team with a .373 batting average, 11 doubles and 19 runs batted in with a .485 on-base percentage. Pizzano has reached base safely in each of the last 17 games. Pizzano’s 11 doubles place him seventh all-time at Columbia on the career doubles list with 38.

GO JONNY GO
Senior infielder Jon Eisen has come on strong lately, splitting his time between third base and second base. Eisen has hit safely in each of his last 13 games and boasts a .289 batting average. Eisen recently reached base in eight straight plate appearances throughout three games, including a leadoff single in Columbia’s last game vs. Rutgers.

PAT HIM ON THE BACK
Senior right-handed pitcher Pat Lowery has thrown consecutive complete games in his last two starts and earned victories in each game. On Saturday in the Ivy League opener vs. Yale, Lowery threw seven strong innings, allowing just one run in the seventh inning of Columbia’s 3-1 win. He walked one and struck out six batters while lowering his earned run average to 2.64.

SPEER, SLUTSKY COMBINE TO SHUT OUT YALE
Sophomore left-handed pitcher David Speer and senior right-handed pitcher Harrison Slutsky combined on a six-hit shutout of Yale in game two on Saturday, a 3-0 Columbia win. Speer tossed six scoreless innings and allowed six hits with a career-high seven strikeouts. Slutsky came on in relief in the seventh inning and was dominant, throwing 31 pitches over three innings. Slutsky did not allow a batter to reach base and posted five punchouts to nail down his first career save.

NICK THE STICK
Junior outfielder Nick Ferraresi has been wielding a hot bat lately. In Columbia’s 14-6 win over Brown in game two last Sunday, Ferraresi had three hits and four runs batted in, including a key two-run double that gave the Lions a 9-5 advantage in the sixth inning.

SPIN CLASS
Rookie right-hander David Spinosa has pitched well over his last four appearances. In his last 7 1/3 innings, Spinosa has yielded just two hits and has struck out 10. He has gained two saves during that time and earned the victory with two scoreless innings in Columbia’s 7-6 win over Rutgers on Wednesday afternoon.

BILLY THE KID
Senior outfielder Billy Rumpke is second on the team with 15 runs batted in this season, batting .295 with four extra-base hits and is tied for the team lead with five stolen bases. He also has played a flawless center field, handling all 47 chances.

PAINT IT BLACK
Junior infielder Alex Black is batting .333 with 10 extra-bases hits this season (eight doubles, two triples). In Columbia’s 7-6 win over Rutgers, Black had two hits and drove in a run.

AA FLYING THE FRIENDLY SKIES
Senior Alexander Aurrichio belted his second home run of the season in Columbia’s 14-6 win over Brown last Sunday. It was the 23rd home run of his career, which ties him with Matt Buckmiller ‘02 for second place all-time on the career home runs list. Gene Larkin ‘84 holds the Columbia record with 25 home runs.

WHERE THERE’S A WILLIAMS, THERE’S A WAY
Junior infielder Eric Williams had two hits in three at-bats in Columbia’s 14-6 win over Brown last Sunday. Williams connected for his first home run of the season, a line shot over the right field fence that gave the Lions an 11-6 advantage in the eighth inning.

GANDOLFO, THANOPOULOS NOTCH FIRST WINS
Two of Columbia’s main cogs in the bullpen recently gained their first career victories. Sophomore southpaw Joey Gandolfo earned the win with 2 2/3 innings of predetermined work against Army on March 28. Last Sunday, George Thanopoulos worked 2 2/3 innings of relief to help Columbia regain the lead against Brown and eventually capture a 14-6 win.