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Columbia Lions hand Tigers their seventh straight loss

<h6>Shelley Szwast / <a href="https://goprincetontigers.com/news/2022/4/2/columbia-bests-baseball-in-doubleheader-sweep.aspx" target="_self">GoPrincetonTigers.com</a></h6>
Shelley Szwast / GoPrincetonTigers.com

The baseball team (2–19 overall, 0–6 Ivy League) traveled to New York City to face Columbia (10–13, 4–2) and lost three more games with little success to show for it. The Tigers have now won only two of their first 21 contests and remain winless in the Ivy League. 

In their only two wins of the season, they still allowed 19 combined runs. Thus far, the team allows 8.4 runs per game while only scoring 5.4 per game of their own. Removing the Tigers’ two wins against Towson in which they scored a combined 39 runs, the offense averages 3.9 runs per game.

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The team batting average sits at .270, while Tiger pitching allows a .322 batting average to opponents. To put that opposing batting average in context, Louisville and Wake Forest are tied for 7th best team average in the nation at .322. Further, when star junior pitcher Jackson Emus isn’t on the mound, opposing offenses bat .339 against the Tigers; the University of Virginia currently boasts the best team average in the nation at .335.

The three game series in New York did not go much better. The first game was close throughout; the Tigers held a 4–3 lead after seven innings behind another assertive outing from Emus. The standout southpaw threw 112 pitches over seven innings in which he allowed seven hits, walked two, and fanned five.

The Tigers scored two more in the top of the eighth off a home run from junior shortstop Eric Marasheski. However, the Lions capitalized on the absence of Emus in the bottom of the frame with a three-run homer to tie the game at six. That knot would stay through the ninth, sending the game to extras. An RBI single in the bottom of the tenth secured the walk-off victory for the hosts.

Junior center fielder Brendan Cumming stayed hot, going 4-for-5 with an RBI while sophomore first baseman Matt Scannell had two hits with two RBIs. Slumping junior third baseman Noah Granet achieved the inglorious feat of the platinum sombrero, striking out five times. 

After narrowly losing the first game in extra innings, the Tigers took two in the teeth, losing 16–1 and 15–2. Princeton played doormat in the first game, allowing 20 hits, including 10 doubles and two home runs, to go along with Columbia’s 16 runs. The Tigers responded with four hits and one run off of a solo homer from sophomore catcher Kaden Kram.

The Tigers managed thirteen hits in the second game, with four players — Cumming, Scannell, Emus, and Granet — each recording multi-hit games. The team left an astounding 11 runners on base, spelling offensive ineptitude for the visiting team. 

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On the other side of the ball, the pitching, led by first-year starter Andrew D’Alessio, kept Columbia somewhat in check for the first six innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits through a gritty 120 pitches. D’Alessio received little help from his defense as the Tigers recorded nine errors in the game. Only one of D’Alessio’s runs was earned — in other words, had the defense provided support, the game would have been tied at one, rather than an insurmountable 7–1 Lion lead.

The Tigers scored in the seventh inning off a Scannell RBI single. The Lions responded in the bottom of the seventh and put the game far out of reach, scoring eight runs on three RBI-singles and a couple of fielding errors. That offensive outburst represented an ugly, 50-pitch, one-inning relief appearance for sophomore Jason Ramirez, in which he allowed six hits and walked three against 13 batters. A scoreless ninth inning finished the game at 15–2.

In desperate search of a win, Tigers will head to South Orange, N.J. to take on Seton Hall and will be going back to Clarke Field for another Ivy clash against Cornell this weekend.

Gabriel Robare covers baseball for the ‘Prince,’ and is the Head Puzzles Editor. He can be reached on social @GabrielRobare or at grobare@princeton.edu. 

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