FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) — Nick Crucet hit a go-ahead RBI single in the 13th inning and Columbia held on to earn its first NCAA tournament win with a 6-5 victory over New Mexico on Saturday night in the Fullerton regional.
The Lions (28-20) scored five runs in the eighth inning to erase a 5-0 deficit, getting the last three runs with two outs. Columbia will play the loser of the Arizona State-Cal State Fullerton matchup in an elimination game Sunday.
"Obviously from our end, it was a tremendous comeback," Lions coach Brett Boretti said. "To tie the game in the eighth with five runs, the credit goes to our guys for staying positive and focused and believing."
The Lions, the first Ivy League team to win a tournament game since Dartmouth in 2010, had to hold on in the 13th. New Mexico (37-22), one of the NCAA's top offensive teams, got the tying run to third but Alex Black struck out D.J. Peterson to end it for his fifth save.
"It feels incredible," Black said. "Having the opportunity to go to regionals and win the first tournament game in school history, I can't even describe it."
Joey Donino (7-0) pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings of relief to pick up the win for Columbia.
The Lobos were eliminated with the loss, one of the biggest upsets so far in this year's tournament.
Nick Ferraresi led off the top of the 13th with a single, advanced to second on a bunt by Aaron Silbar and came home on Crucet's single to right field. Ferraresi slid just under the tag on a close play at the plate, and Lobos manager Ray Birmingham argued the call.
Black hit a two-run homer to start the Lions' big rally in the eighth. Crucet added a two-run single and Mike Fischer tied it with a two-out RBI single.
New Mexico senior right-hander Sam Wolff took a shutout into the eighth inning and tied a career high with seven strikeouts, but got a no-decision after Columbia's comeback.
"The breaks didn't go our way today," Birmingham said. "I tip my hat to Columbia. I was really, really impressed with the caliber of club they put on the field."
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