Columbia University won the Ivy League championship this season but was not satisfied with just that. On Friday, they began the NCAA Baseball Regionals by upsetting 14th-ranked Gonzaga 8-2.
The Lions are part of the Blacksburg Regional, hosted by Virginia Tech. In the NCAA Baseball Regionals, the first of four phases of the NCAA baseball playoffs, there are 16 separate regionals. Each region is a four-team, double-elimination tournament hosted on the campus’ of the 16 best teams in the nation.
Columbia, which finished the regular season 30-16 was given the 3rd seed (of the four teams in Blackburg) and was saddled with a first-round matchup against Gonzaga, who finished the regular season 36-18 and was ranked 2nd in the Blacksburg regional and 14th in the country.
However, that didn’t phase the Lions.
They struck first, scoring a run in the first inning on an RBI double by Junior catcher Weston Eberly. Gonzaga would later tie the game in the second and it remained 1-1 until the top of the 6th inning.
That’s why Columbia University broke it open.
After two hits to start the inning, Eberly came up big again, knocking in another run on a single before Junior outfielder Hayden Schott cleared the bases with a three-run home run.
Columbia would tack on one more run in the inning, taking a commanding 6-1 lead that they would never relinquish.
On the mound, Senior right-hander Sean Higgins was in complete control. He completed six innings, striking out six, walking one, allowing six hits, and giving up just two runs.
Fellow Senior Saajan May would then come out to close out the game with a three-inning save.
Columbia now moves on to face the other team in the Blacksburg regional who wins their first game. That will be either Wright State or Virginia Tech, the host of the regional and the 4th-ranked team in the nation.
Either way, Columbia has announced itself on the big stage at these NCAA Baseball Regionals and it’s clear they’re hungry for more.
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For the complete schedule and up-to-date scores, you can follow along at Division One Baseball or the NCAA Regional Bracket website.