Sorenson strong after leaving UVM

By David Martin

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian
Jeff Bernstein/Collegian
When a baseball player enters a game, no matter how late in the season, he reflects both on how he thinks the game will go and how he feels the game should go, based on everything he knows about the teams, the field and the game itself.

Sometimes when it is least expected, life takes a shocking turn in a different direction, throwing a real-world curveball.

For junior right-hander Leif Sorenson of the Massachusetts baseball team, that real life moment came at the end of his first season of collegiate ball.

Sorenson’s former school, Vermont, cut its baseball program after the 2009-10 academic year due to a lack of funding. As a result, some of the former players sought out other schools, as they looked to further their education while still keeping the opportunity open to pursue their futures in baseball.

Sorenson, in addition to senior second baseman Eric Fredette and junior right-hander Ben Hart, all chose UMass to be their next school.

In his first season with the Catamounts, Sorenson held a 0-4 record with a 6.15 earned run average in 21 appearances, one of which he started. In 26.1 innings pitched, he earned one save and 12 strikeouts, while relinquishing 31 hits, 18 earned runs and 18 walks, with opponents hitting .307 against him.

In his first full season with the Minutemen, Sorenson began to grow into his role, and he improved in almost every pitching category. In 19 appearances, Sorenson would garner a 2-1 record with five saves in 29.2 innings pitched. Though his hits rose to 34, his ERA shrank to a much more favorable 3.94, while his earned runs would fall to 13 with eight walks. In addition, his strikeouts would rise to 14, with opponents hitting for a considerably less .286 average.

Throughout the Minutemen’s (9-15, 3-3 Atlantic 10) 2011 season, Sorenson has proved to be a key player in the bullpen, quietly assuming the team’s closer position. In four of UMass’ nine wins, Sorenson earned four saves (10 appearances) while holding opponents to a 0-3 record. He has walked four batters and given up eight earned runs, in addition to striking out an impressive 15 opponents.

Sorneson has also had statistical improvements when facing A-10 opponents this season. In games against A-10 teams, Sorenson has played 9.4 innings in which he gave up seven hits, no walks and struck out eight. Two of his four saves on the year came also came against A-10 opponents.

In losing one potential future with the closing of UVM’s baseball program, Sorenson was put in an understandably tough situation. Though like his fellow teammates, Sorenson has made the move to another program and has begun to put out strong numbers this season.

David Martin can be reached at [email protected]