Scrolling Headlines:

Hockey Notebook: John Leonard on an early season tear for UMass hockey -

November 18, 2017

Clock runs out on UMass men’s soccer’s dream season in NCAA opener -

November 17, 2017

2017 Basketball Special Issue -

November 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball prepares for transitional season in 2017-18 -

November 16, 2017

Author Viet Thanh Nguyen discusses how history and humanity is remembered -

November 16, 2017

CMASS completes seven-week discussion series -

November 16, 2017

UMass women’s basketball resets and reloads, looking to improve on last year’s record with plenty of new talent -

November 16, 2017

Matt McCall’s winding path to bring unity to UMass -

November 16, 2017

Carl Pierre is a piece to Matt McCall’s basketball program -

November 16, 2017

Why they stayed: Malik Hines, Chris Baldwin and C.J. Anderson -

November 16, 2017

McConnell chooses politics over morals -

November 16, 2017

Swipe right for love? Probably not. -

November 16, 2017

‘The Florida Project’ is a monument to the other side of paradise -

November 16, 2017

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ doesn’t have to be the best Marvel movie -

November 16, 2017

Thursday’s NCAA tournament rematch between UMass men’s soccer and Colgate will be a battle of adjustments -

November 15, 2017

Veteran belonging and the decline of American communities discussed by journalist and author at Amherst College -

November 15, 2017

‘UMass Cares About Cancer’ Hosts Blanket Making Event -

November 15, 2017

UMass women’s basketball heads to North Dakota for two games -

November 15, 2017

UMass football sets its sights on BYU -

November 15, 2017

UMass men’s soccer hosts Colgate in opening round of NCAA tournament -

November 15, 2017

Minutemen baseball taking 2-1 nail-biter

When Leif Sorenson finished the game, he finished in style.

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

In the opener of a three-game series with La Salle, the Massachusetts baseball team grabbed a 2-1 victory on Thursday, when closer Sorenson struck out pinch-hitter Kevin Conroy, ultimately stranding the tying run on second base.

UMass moved to 3-1 in the Atlantic 10 and 7-10 overall with the win, as La Salle fell to 3-4 in the conference. The Minutemen are now 19-10 all-time against La Salle and look to carry their past success into the final two games of the series.

Though Sorenson had his moment of stardom in the latter stages of the game, his predecessor on the mound, Dennis Torres, did most of the overall work. Torres, who pitched nearly eight innings, sent down six batters. He also allowed 10 hits, two walks and one earned run. Much of his pitching success came from his curveball, which kept the hitters out of rhythm all game.

“I felt like I was able to battle out of the jams and I got a couple big strikeouts. I was hitting my spots with my fastball and my curveball was on,” said Torres. “I was able to get a couple batters looking and made a couple guys bite on my curveball.”

Torres carried a shutout into the eighth inning and seemed poised for a complete game. But, seemingly out of nowhere, Torres found himself in a jam, with the bases loaded after back-to-back singles and walking pinch-hitter Justin Korenblatt.

With the bases loaded, Dan Klem roped a ball straight off the glove of Torres for an infield hit to even the score at 1-1.

Following the tying run, UMass coach Mike Stone decided to take out Torres and bring in Sorenson. The senior closer handled the next batter, George Smith, who grounded out to first to get UMass out of the precarious situation.

“I was a little upset to come out of the game, but we had Leif coming in and he has all the confidence in the world from me. He gets the job done about every single time,” said Torres

In the bottom of the eighth, UMass came right back and picked up the go-ahead run when outfielder Adam Picard hit a single up the middle to send home senior catcher Tom Conley. Sorenson continued his success as wouldn’t let the lead drop and, ultimately, earned his first win of the season – finishing in style with a strike out to Conroy.

“Leaf came in and did a nice job. It’s tough to use your closer in the first game of a three game series, but he got the job done,” said Stone.

While Torres and Sorenson contributed on the mound, first baseman Dylan Begin was successful from the plate, going 3-for-4 on the day. Begin, who began this year as a clean-up hitter, brought his average up to .213.

Another top performer was Conley, who drove in Ryan Cusick for the first run of the game with an RBI single up the middle. Conley also scored the game-winning run in the eighth after leading off with a double.

“The pitching has been a surprise this season. It’s been real nice even if the offense isn’t there, the pitching still gives us a chance to win with only a couple key hits just like today,” said Conley

To put more runs on the board this season, Stone said he feels he needs to play a little “small ball” to get runners on base and into scoring position. The Minutemen had a combined total of six bunts in the game, one of which was a sacrifice bunt by Rob McLam to put UMass on the board first with a 1-0 lead.

“I always like playing that way and it can really make a difference,” said Stone. “We haven’t really started to hit yet this season so you have to find some way to score runs.”

Chris Corso can be reached at ccorso@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter @MDC_Corso.

Leave A Comment