CBB Column: Ivy League Championship Series Preview

eisen When Dartmouth faces Columbia in the Ivy League Championships this weekend, pitching may be important, but Lions Coach Brett Boretti knows what the difference maker will be.

“I think offense, in the post season, is the difference maker,” claimed Boretti in a chat this week. “It is tough for both teams to get started offensively.”

The Big Green (23-15, 13-7) and Lions (25-19, 14-6) both are chock-filled of new players on offense, and when they faced each other in April, they played two very similar games, according to Boretti. “We both evenly played a day of baseball,” he said of the split. “We had one big inning one day, they had one big inning the next. Otherwise, it was even.”

Dartmouth, the defending Ivy League Champion, won the Rolfe Division last weekend after a 9-0 shellacking of Harvard. This championship weekend marks the teams third consecutive appearance in the league championship, something that Columbia sees as an advantage.

“Dartmouth has the experience of playing in championships, of being in the last two,” explained Boretti. “Their coach (Bob Whalen) is very good, and he has a very good pitching staff.”

Columbia, who won the Gehrig Division last weekend by sweeping Penn 5-2 and 10-9. The second game was a thriller, with reliever Eric Williams holding Penn scoreless for four innings while his team scored 8 unanswered runs to come from behind for the win.

Boretti wants to see more of the same this weekend. “We need to play the game we have played all season. We know we make mistakes, but we know how to respond to them, which is key.”

The Lions are led by sophomore pitcher Pat Lowery. “As a freshmen, we knew he was going to be able to compete,” explained Boretti. “He has worked his butt off. We know we can give him the ball, because is very composed on the mound.”

Jon Eisen, another sophomore, has impressed this season, even after being moved from his usual second base to third base. “Jon is our fire starter. He is a contact hitter, and is able to put the ball in play,” exclaimed Boretti. “The transition from 2B to 3B is something he’s bought into.”

If Columbia is going to score this weekend, Boretti predicted that Eisen’s bat would definitely be a part of it. “He revs the engine up for the rest of the lineup, and allows them to score runs.”

The Ivy League Championship is a best of three series at Columbia’s Robertson Field this Saturday (2 games) and Sunday (1 game, if needed). Live video and audio will be provided by Columbia Athletics which is available by clicking here.