Monday, April 13, 2015

Talkin' Baseball

Joe Falcone

Getting away from football and athletic department internal news for a second, may I just write a bit about how much of a joy it is to follow Columbia Baseball?

I don’t know if the team will win its third straight Ivy title, but the Lions are still tied for first in the Gehrig Division and the pitching and offense are impressive.

My favorite development this year has been the resurgence of senior Joe Falcone who had a rough junior year after exploding on the scene as a sophomore in 2013. Of course, Falcone is a favorite because of his time as a Marine in Afghanistan and Iraq. At 29 years old, he’s a welcome change of pace and a heartening story.

Another great development is the fact that the loss of pitcher David Speer hasn’t been as much of a killer as expected. Junior Kevin Roy has stepped up his game on the mound and fellow junior George Thanapolous has been more solid this year. And Senior Mike Weisman might be the ace of them all. Weisman only threw 19.2 innings last year and just 14 innings in 2013.  This season, he’s already thrown more than his last two seasons worth of innings combined and he has a 2.97 ERA. I wonder if Head Coach Brett Boretti wishes he had given Weisman more playing time in the past or if he just improved big time over the off season.

Other than Falcone on the hitting side, Jordan Serena is having another great year with a .339 average and a perfect 15-15 on stolen bases. One of the surprises in the Ivy part of the schedule is senior 3B David Vandercook, who is hitting well above his career average at .436 with 15 RBI.

There are many, many more individual names to point out, but do yourself a favor and watch the games on the Ivy Digital Network or in person and enjoy.

The whole genre of college baseball and the Ivy version of it is also really enjoyable. The games move fast, each weekend is filled with two doubleheaders, and with all the players under 30, every team has exciting speed. 

1 comment:

I remain, very truly yours, Richard Szathmary said...

Since no one's posted on this one yet: I can only support Jake fully in noting that Columbia Lions baseball is exciting to watch and is a very well run and well coached program. We actually have a good chance for a three-peat league title this season too.

Or you could head over to Columbia's "home course" in Overpeck Creek Park in Bergen County and watch some Lions crew events. Loads of free parking and a nice atmosphere.
Interestingly, too, I learned from renewing my "True Blue" package that we have far fewer season football ticket holders (though probably of multiple seats in each instance) than I'd imagined. I won't give the number but yes, it is kind of dismaying. And it's similarly disappointing re basketball tix. One can only hope sales and commitments pick up as the first Bagnoli-led season nears.