The changing of the guard in the Ivy League continues. A year after Brown won its first-ever Ivy title to reach its first regional, Columbia has won its first Ivy title since 1977, when it was co-champion with Cornell. The Lions are the nation’s first team to punch a ticket to the NCAA tournament–their first appearance since 1976.
Be sure to check this past Monday’s Three Strikes for more information about Columbia. The Lions split a high-scoring doubleheader Tuesday in the Ivy League championship series against Dartmouth, setting up Wednesday’s decisive Game Three. The Lions trailed 5-3 in the sixth inning Wednesday, but freshman shortstop Alex Ferrera launched a three-run homer with two outs to give Columbia the lead for good. The Lions held on for a 7-5 victory.
"It was a tough series with two evenly matched teams," Columbia coach Brett Boretti said after the game. "The level of play is continuing to rise across the Ivy League, and hopefully we can do our best to represent the league well in the regionals."
Elsewhere Wednesday, Arizona State might have found a remedy for its lack of pitching depth. Freshman Matt Newman, who has mostly played outfield this year, made his third career pitching appearance and first career start at Wichita State. The righthander held the Shockers to one run on five hits and two walks while striking out two over 6 2/3 strong innings, before handing off to sophomore ace Mike Leake, who worked the final 2.1 innings to nail down a 6-1 win.
One final note to pass along: Michigan ace righthander Zach Putnam will not make his scheduled Friday start against Minnesota because of a viral infection. The Wolverines lead Purdue by three games in the Big Ten standings and might be able to wrap up the regular-season conference title this weekend.
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