Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Sorenson contributing late in season

In what has been an up- and- down season, the Massachusetts baseball team has had to have rely on offensive production from Matt Gedman and Peter Copa in the middle of the lineup, who are team leaders in hits and home runs.

That being said, when they needed a lift late in games, the Minutemen have also been getting the relief they received quality relief performances from their bullpen.

On Saturday, in a 5-1 victory over No. 25 Charlotte at Earl Lorden Field, relief pitcher Leif Sorenson became the Minutemen’s all time leader in saves with 11. The save was his sixth of the season.

UMass coach Coach Mike Stone said that knows he can rely on the junior to come through for him, no matter what type of situation UMass the Minutemen are in.

“We are not afraid to use him whenever, in any game,” said Stone. “We got to have him, otherwise we are not comfortable going into the game,” said Stone.

Sorenson, whose record stands at 0-5, has an ERA of 2.64 in 30.2 innings and a batting average against of .264. in 30.2 innings pitched. He has yet to allow a home run.

In each of Sorenson’s 16 appearances, Stone noticed a certain confidence in his closer too.

“He looks forward to being the closer and is confident in it,” said Stone. “[Saturday] he got 2.1 innings for us and really helped us secure a great win.”

The performance came the day after the Minutemen fell to the No. 25 49ers, 11-4.

Sorenson did not get any work in that game, however Stone made it clear that being prepared at any time is essential.

“As a reliever, you have to be ready to go every day,” said Stone.

That much has been apparent, as there have been two instances where Sorenson had to work in back-to-back games and another where he worked three in a row.

When UMass traveled to George Washington at the end of March, Sorenson pitched a combined 3.2 innings, allowing no runs and one hit while striking out three.

In the home series against Dayton in the beginning of April, Sorenson competed three days in a row, pitching a total of 4.2 innings. He allowed one run on two hits while striking out three.

Despite Sorenson’s subpar the win-loss record, Stone maintained that his confidence in his closer has never waivered throughout the season.

“We just feel good about him whenever he comes on the mound,” said Stone.

The Minutemen, who have now lost six of their last eight games, will try to rebound in the coming weeks as the season comes to a close.

The next game for UMass will be against Quinnipiac (14-26-1) at home on Tuesday at 3 p.m. The Bobcats come into the game losers of nine of their last 10 games.

The schedule after that will include a game at Northeastern and then a conference- heavy couple of weeks which will include a three-game series against Rhode Island, Fordham and St. Bonaventure.

Eric Mansfield can be reached at [email protected].

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