Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Arizona Upset By Columbia, 8-4
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 09, 2013
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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March 9, 2013

Columbia 8, Arizona 4 (Box Score)

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TUCSON, Ariz. - Columbia University shrugged off a disheartened walk-off loss on Friday night and returned the favor as the Lions scored five times in the seventh inning to cap an 8-4 come-from-behind victory over 16th-ranked Arizona on Saturday night at Hi Corbett Field.

Columbia (1-5) took an early 1-0 lead with an unearned run against Wildcat starter James Farris in the first inning. A four-run fourth inning pushed Arizona into the lead, but the Lions scored seven runs on seven hits over the sixth and seventh innings to capture their first win of the season.

Momentum firmly shifted hands between the sixth and seventh innings. Leading 4-3, Arizona had runners at the corners and one down as it looked to extend its advantage. However, Kevin Newman's line drive was snagged by third baseman David Vandercook, who was able to double-up David Real at third to end the inning.

In the ensuing half-inning, Mike Fischer led off with a triple to left-center, before Jordan Serena drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly.

With the game knotted up, the Lions stayed on the offensive. Nick Crucet was hit by a pitch and stole second base, and then scored on Eric Williams' single to give Columbia a 5-4 edge.

That marked the end of day for Farris (L, 3-1), who suffered his first loss of the season. The junior right-hander finished with six runs allowed - five earned -on six hits and a career-high four walks. He turned the game over Tyler Crawford, but the lefty reliever was unable to tame the Lions' bats.

Crawford surrendered consecutive singles to Nick Ferraresi and Alex Black, with the second hit driving in Williams. Vandercook then delivered the decisive blow, a two-run single to left field to extend the lead to 8-4.

Reliever Stephen Manthei stemmed the tide, recording a strikeout to end the five-run seventh. The right-hander went on to toss 2.1 scoreless innings of relief with just one hit allowed.

Arizona (12-5) won in comeback fashion on Friday night with four runs over the final two innings, but no rally was in store on Saturday evening.

The Lions received four shutout innings of relief from Joey Donino and Black. The pair retired the final nine Arizona hitters of the game in perfect seventh, eighth and ninth frames, respectively.

Donino (W, 1-0) earned the win with two innings pitched, one hit and one strikeout.

Black, who started the game at first base, took the mound for the final two frames. He retired all six batters he faced, including striking out the side in the eighth.

The comeback allowed starter Tim Giel to avoid a loss in a five-inning, no-decision outing. The righty was solid over the first four innings, but struggled in the four-run fifth. He finished with nine hits and three walks allowed, to go with three strikeouts.

The Wildcats' four-run fifth was ignited by its freshmen. With one out, Cody Ramer walked and Zach Gibbons followed with a single, one of hits three hits on the day. With runners on the corners, Giel threw an errant pickoff throw to first base, allowing Ramer to score the tying run and Gibbons to scoot into second.

Newman followed with a sharp single to center to again put runners at the corners. One out later, Brandon Dixon, who reached base for the 17th-straight game to open the season, delivered a two-run triple to left-center to put the Wildcats on top for the first time. Trent Gilbert followed with an RBI single to right field, and Arizona held a 4-1 lead after five.

That was all the offense the Wildcats could muster on a night when they were without head coach Andy Lopez, who missed the game with an illness.

The rubber match of the three-game series is set for Sunday at noon (MST) at Hi Corbett Field.

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