The baseball team for my alma mater Columbia University beat Dartmouth twice yesterday to win the Ivy League Championship and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. This is the second year in a row the Lions have led the Ivy League, and last year they won their first NCAA tournament game, beating New Mexico 6-5 in 13 innings, before being knocked off by Arizona State.
The 2014 Lions don’t have any particularly impressive hitters — only one player, Will Savage hit better than .300, and no one had an on-base percentage above .388 or a slugging percentage above .489. However, the line-up was solid from top to bottom, and the team got on base with all eight regulars having OBP’s of .340 or higher. The Lions so far have a 27-17 record.
The Lions’ best pitcher was senior left-hander David Speer, who went 7-2 with a 2.03 ERA and a pitching line of 80 IP, 67 hits, two HRs and six BBs allowed and 69 Ks. Speer pitched nearly as well in 2013 for the Lions but was apparently not drafted last June. One would have to think he has a good chance of being drafted this coming June in the later rounds.
No one else pitched nearly as well as Speer, but starters George Thanopoulis and Kevin Roy and relievers Zack Tax and Mike Weisman all deserve mention.
Current Dodger farm hand Mike Baxter is the last Columbia product to reach the major leagues, although he played only one season for the Lions before transferring to Vanderbilt. The last Columbia pitcher to reach the majors was Frankie Seminara, who pitched for Columbia while I was there.