#13 Oklahoma Edges Baseball, 4-2
March 17, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. - Despite having the tying run in scoring position with one away in the top of the ninth, the UMass baseball team was unable to pull off the comeback against #13 Oklahoma, who edged out the Minutemen, 4-2, at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Tuesday evening. With the loss, UMass falls to 0-5, while the nationally-ranked Sooners move to 16-2.
Oklahoma notched the first run of the evening in the bottom of the second as Caleb Bushyhead sent a 2-1 pitch over the fence in right. The following inning, the Sooners pushed the score to 2-0 as Chris Ellison reached on a fielder's choice, was awarded second on a balk, stole third and scored on a sacrifice bunt by Jack Mayfield.
UMass countered in the top of the fourth. Junior Eric Fredette tallied the squad's first base knock of the game, poking a single through the right side to extend his hitting streak to five, and moved to third on a bouncing single up the middle by junior Cameron McMullen. Then starting pitcher Mike Gedman stepped to the plate and delivered the squad's third straight hit, a single to left that plated Fredette to put the Minutemen on the board.
The Sooners took the run back, however, in their next turn at-bat. Max White led off by ripping a double off the top of the left field wall, moved to second on a ground out and came around to score on an RBi single to right by Cameron Seitzer.
In the top of the fifth, UMass added another run to pull back to within one of Oklahoma. With a full count, junior Peter Copa rocketed a pitch over the left field fence to lead off the frame. His classmate Matt Gedman followed with a double to the gap in left center, while sophomore Tom Conley drew a four-pitch walk. With one out, senior Brian Baudinet was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Jason Chowning came on in relief of starter J.R. Robinson and logged the final two outs of the inning to escape any further damage.
The Minutemen threatened again in the eighth as Fredette dropped a one-out single into center and McMullen drew a walk. However, the Sooners managed to work out of the jam by turning a double play.
Oklahoma then added an insurance run in its final turn at bat as Ellison led off the bottom of the eighth with a single to center and came home on a two-out hit by White to bring the score to 4-2.
UMass' final chance at a comeback came in the top of the ninth as senior Mike Donato started off the frame by roping a double into the gap in left center, followed by a walk to Copa. Donato was forced out at third as Matt Gedman reached on a fielder's choice, while Conley followed with his second walk of the night to load the bases with one down. Ryan Duke quelled the rally by striking out junior Kyle Multner and inducing a fly ball off the bat of Baudinet to end the game.
Despite taking the loss, senior Mike Gedman (0-1) was highly effective in his first career start, pitching all eight innings and scattering four runs on nine hits with no walks and a career-high six strikeouts. Chowning (1-0) picked up the win, throwing 2.2 hitless innings out of the bullpen for Oklahoma and striking out four of the eight he faced, walking none. Duke tossed one inning to earn his seventh save of the year, letting up one hit, walking two and fanning one.
Fredette was the lone Minuteman to tally multiple hits as he finished the night 2-for-4 with a run scored. McMullen, Mike Gedman, Donato, Copa and Matt Gedman had one hit apiece. Mike Gedman and Copa each registered an RBI.
White recorded three of the Sooners' nine hits, batting 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, while Ellison scored twice.
UMass will close out its trip to Oklahoma tomorrow, Wednesday, March 17, taking on the Sooners in an 8 p.m. contest.
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