Late Rally Lifts #13 Oklahoma Past Minutemen, 8-4
March 17, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. - The UMass baseball team led #13 Oklahoma through 6.5 innings, but the Sooners rallied for three runs in both the seventh and eighth to defeat the Minutemen, 8-4, in the squads' final meeting of a two-game series at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Wednesday evening. The setback leaves UMass at 0-6 on the year, while Oklahoma improves to 17-2.
The Minutemen were quick to jump on the board in the top of the first. With one out, junior Eric Fredette drew a walk and moved to third on a hit and run play as classmate Cameron McMullen poked a single through the right side. Mike Gedman reached on a fielder's choice and picked up an RBI with Fredette coming home for the first run of the game.
UMass later increased its advantage to 2-0 in the top of the fourth. Senior Mike Donato dropped a single into right before moving to second on a passed ball. Then junior Matt Gedman stepped to the plate and roped a double to right center that knocked in Donato.
In the bottom of the inning, the Sooners broke through for a pair of runs to tie the score at two, capitalizing on a rare miscue by the Minutemen. Garrett Buechele reached on an error with two away, while Ross Hubbard followed, drawing a walk on four pitches. The next two Oklahoma batters, Cameron Seitzer and Kaleb Herren, came through with back-to-back singles to plate Buechele and Hubbard.
The Minutemen promptly took the runs back in their next turn at bat to lead 4-2. Senior Garrett Glashoff began UMass' half of the frame with a double to the corner in left. With two out, McMullen placed a double just inches inside the line in right that scored Glashoff. The next batter, Mike Gedman drew a walk after McMullen moved to third on a passed ball. Then on a double-steal, McMullen crossed home while Gedman was caught in a run down to end the inning.
That would be all for the UMass offense on the evening, however, as the Sooners went on to rally in the bottom of the seventh. The leadoff batter, Tyler Ogle, was hit by a pitch and was replaced with a pinch runner, Eric Ross. Ross moved up to second as Max White drew a walk and both runners advanced on a wild pitch, setting up an RBI groundout by Chris Ellison that brought the Sooners to within 4-3. Then with two away, Casey Johnson curved the first pitch of his at bat around the foul pole in right for a two-run homer that put Oklahoma on top for the first time, 5-4.
The Sooners followed up with three insurance runs in the eighth off Minuteman reliever Leif Sorenson. Hubbard opened up the frame with a double to right and was lifted for a pinch runner, Elliott Blair. Blair moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and cross the plate on an RBI single up the middle by Caleb Bushyhead. Ross followed with a single through the left side and Cale Ellis drew a walk, setting up a two-run single by Ellison that capped of the scoring.
UMass received yet another quality outing from one of its starting pitchers as senior Bryan Leigh took the loss (0-1), but worked seven innings and struck out nine of the 30 batters he faced, a career high. He allowed five runs, three earned, on just six hits and walked two. Jack Mayfield threw 3.1 scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win (1-0) for Oklahoma, giving up two hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
McMullen and Donato both finished the night 2-for-4 for the Minutemen, each with a double and a run scored, while McMullen added an RBI, as well. Matt Gedman had a double and an RBI, pushing his hitting streak to seven straight, dating back to the final game of 2009. Fredette increased his hitting streak to six straight and scored a run, as well.
Hubbard and Bushyhead each had multiple hits for the Sooners, going 3-for-2 and 4-for-2 respectively. Ellison drove in three, Johnson had two RBI and Ross scored twice.
UMass will make its return to the East Coast when the squad next travels to William & Mary for a three-game series beginning with a 7 p.m. contest on Friday, March 19.
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