Columbia University Lions

04/16/2014, 6:00pm EDT
By Columbia Stats Information Department; Photos By Gene Boyars
“The staff and players are excited about the season ahead and the opportunity to compete at a high level. Our goal is to win the Ivy League every year. We have a motivated and talented group that will work as hard as we can to accomplish our goal.” – Brett Boretti, Head Coach

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Coming off the most successful season in Columbia baseball history, the Lions will look to capture its 12th Ivy League Championship and third in the last seven years in 2014. Columbia returns the core group, including three of its top four pitchers, to a team that tied a program record with 28 wins and won its first NCAA Tournament game last season.

Similar to head coach Brett Boretti’s scheduling philosophy in years past, the Lions will head out on the road during the beginning of the spring to play some of the best teams in the nation. Trips to South Florida and Kennesaw State kick-off the season, before Columbia heads to Texas for matchups against UT-San Antonio, Texas A&M, UT-Arlington and Texas. The Ivy League slate begins on March 29 with a doubleheader against Brown.Joey Donino, David Speer and Adam Cline return to the mound for the Lions in 2014. The trio combined for 16 victories and 180 strikeouts last season.Speer will share captain duties this season with fellow seniors Mike Fischer and Aaron Silbar. Fischer is the field general behind the plate for the Lions, while Silbar, who finished second on the team last year in batting average, hits and doubles, commands the middle of the infield as the starting shortstop.

Columbia returns a total of seven All-Ivy League selections from last season, including: Speer (P), Donino (P), Silbar (SS), Fischer (C), Joey Falcone (DH), Kevin Roy (P) and Jordan Serena (OF). Falcone, the Lions’ power bat, returns for his junior campaign after being named a Gregg Olson semifinalist for breakout player of the year and ABCA Northeast Region second team honoree.

Player Spotlight

Joey Falcone’s lengthy journey to Columbia, including six years in the Marine Corps and a year at junior college, culminating in a breakout season for Columbia in 2013. The Gregg Olson Award semifinalist matched MLB amateur draft selection Alex Black with a team-best .331 batting average, while finishing second with a .520 slugging percentage and five long balls. His power bat will be especially crucial this season to the Lions’ success with the departure of Black.
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