Roar, Lion, Roar

Spring Preview: Baseball Goes for Four-Peat

Columbia’s baseball team will be seeking a fourth consecutive Ivy League championship this spring after coming off what was arguably the finest season in program history. Last year, the Lions won a school-record 34 games, topped the Ivies for the third year in a row and won three games in the NCAA tournament. No team has won four straight titles since the Ivy League took over the baseball competition when Army and Navy left the Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League in 1993.

Nick Maguire ’16

Nick Maguire ’16

MIKE MCLAUGHLIN / COLUMBIA ATHLETICS

Columbia, which has won four Ivy titles in 10 seasons under coach Brett Boretti, retains a solid core of veterans including All-Ivy First Team first baseman Nick Maguire
and outfielder Robb Paller ’16, who each hit seven home runs last season, catcher/outfielder Logan Boyher ’16 and pitchers George Thanopoulos ’16, Kevin Roy ’16, Ty Wiest ’17 and Harrisen Egly SEAS’18. The Lions lost their top four hitters for average, however, including Ivy Co-Player of the Year Gus Craig SEAS’15, who was drafted by the Seattle Mariners and batted .322 in 34 games in the Arizona League last year.

Columbia’s chief rival in the Lou Gehrig Division figures to be Penn, which lost to the Lions in a one-game playoff for the division crown a year ago. The Quakers expect to have a solid pitching staff led by Jake Cousins ’17 and Mike Reitcheck ’17, with shortstop Ryan Mincher ’16 leading the offense. In the Red Rolfe Division, Brown, led by outfielder Rob Henry ’17, who batted .363 and reached base in 37 of 39 games last season, may have the best chance to unseat Dartmouth, which has won the division title for eight consecutive years.

George Thanopoulos ’16

George Thanopoulos ’16

MIKE MCLAUGHLIN / COLUMBIA ATHLETICS

The Lions will begin their Ivy quest with doubleheaders against Yale on April 2 and Brown on April 3. Before that, however, they will play 18 non-league games — four at Jacksonville and 10 in California against Pepperdine, San Diego and Long Beach State before returning to the area for one game against Army and three against Connecticut. The Ivy season concludes with four games against Penn: doubleheaders at Philadelphia on April 30 and at Robertson Field at Satow Stadium on May 1.


Columbia men’s tennis, which swept the Ivy League a year ago and reached the NCAA Round of 16, was ranked as high as 15th this winter by the ITA despite the loss of several key players, including four-time All-Ivy First Team selection Winston Lin ’15. “We are excited to still be in the top 20, especially losing so many seniors,” said head coach Bid Goswami, who welcomed a strong recruiting class and will be seeking the 11th Ivy title in his 34-year tenure. Columbia, which will begin Ivy competition at Cornell on March 26, had two nationally ranked doubles teams as of late February: No. 15 Shawn Hadavi ’17 and Richard Pham ’17 and No. 20 Mike Vermeer ’16 and Michal Rolski ’18.