South Kingstown graduate Liam McGill has once again made himself a primary figure in the Columbia baseball lineup, using his bat to aid the Lions in their bid to repeat as Ivy League champions.

In terms of their title defense, the Lions have leaped to a 6-3 start in conference play thanks to taking two of three from Cornell, Dartmouth and, most recently, Princeton.

The 2-1 series-closing victory over the Tigers on Sunday had added significance, as it was the 400th career win for Columbia coach Brett Boretti, who joined the program from Franklin & Marshall prior to the 2006 campaign.

McGill had a key role in the milestone triumph as he went 2-for-4 at the plate, including a base hit in the fifth inning that drove home the eventual winning run.

Over the course of the weekend, the former Rebel hit successfully in each contest, including his third home run of the season, as he drilled the ball over the right field fence in an 8-2 decision in favor of the visiting Lions in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.

The round-tripper placed McGill in sole possession of second place on Columbia’s home run chart, drawing to within three of team leader Chandler Bengtson, who also went deep in the Lions’ triumph.

The junior backstop is also among the top five on the club in several other offensive categories, including batting average (.308),RBI (14) and extra-base hits (12), with the latter good for the team lead.

Thanks to a challenging early-season slate, the Columbia nine’s overall record is only 10-14, with three of their four non-league wins to date coming during the team’s five-game road trip to Florida last month.

The Lions take on Yale this weekend, the first time that they will lock horns since last spring’s Ivy League championship series, in which the Bulldogs were swept aside.

Homecoming for Edwards

It was a successful return to the Ocean State for South Kingstown native and La Salle product Drew Edwards, who scored a vital goal in the Sacred Heart lacrosse team’s 11-8 win over Bryant on Saturday.

The ex-Ram put the Pioneers ahead 6-5 in the dying embers of the third quarter, slamming the ball past Bulldog netminder Luke Caracciolo after taking a pass from Alex Weiss for his eighth goal of the year.

It was the fourth contest in a row in which Edwards found the back of the net, dating back to an 18-16 victory over Robert Morris on March 16 in which he scored a pair of markers for the first multi-goal game of his collegiate career.

In fact, the sophomore attacker has etched his name onto the scoresheet in all but one of the seven games he has played after missing the entire month of February, only failing to convert versus Hartford on March 9.

Despite not scoring against the Hawks, Edwards was able to pick up an assist in the 16-12 triumph, one of seven helpers that he has on the campaign.

As a result of the win over Bryant, Sacred Heart is now 6-5 on the campaign going into a crucial Saturday meeting with Saint Joseph’s, with a win over the Hawks potentially going a long way towards clinching a Northeast Conference tournament berth.

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