The College Baseball Blog made the trek out to UMass on Saturday to see the Minutemen host the A-10 leading Charlotte 49ers. The Minutemen entered the game with an 11-16 record while 4-9 in the conference. The 49ers entered with a 28-8 overall record and 10-3 in conference play.
After a scoreless first inning, the 49ers got the first two runners on base with a single and a walk. Ross Steadley then laid a horrible bunt back to UMass starter Bryan Leigh who decided to try to get the lead runner out at third but threw the ball into left field allowing both runners to come around with the first two runs. Steadley would come around and score on a sacrifice fly later in the inning. The 49ers would tack on another run in the 3rd inning to set up a 4-0 scoreline going into the fourth inning as the Minutemen were struggling to get hits off of Charlotte starter Zach Rosenbaum was cruising.
Charlotte got a huge fourth inning which saw them get five runs on six hits with the big shot coming from Ross Steadley who hit a two run double. In the inning, Rob Lyerly picked up his second double on the day. He would be heard from many more times in the game. UMass was able to respond in the bottom of the inning with five runs as they took advantage of two Charlotte errors and grabbing three hits.
In the fifth inning, Chris Taylor led the inning off for Charlotte with a single through the left side of the infield before Rob Lyerly followed with a long drive to left field for his first home run of the game which was his eighth of the year. The 49ers were held scoreless for the rest of the inning to put the score at 11-5 but Umass was able to scratch across a run in the bottom of the fifth to put it at 11-6 but that is the closest that the Minutemen would come to taking the lead.
In the sixth inning, the 49ers would score six runs on six hits with the big shot coming from Rob Lyerly who hit a long three run homer to right field for his ninth home run of the season and his second of the game. He would come back up again in the seventh inning as he led off the inning with a home run to left field for his tenth of the season and his third of the day. His day was not over yet at all. He came up in the ninth inning as he led off with the 49ers leading now 18-6 and looking for his fourth home run on the day. He took a pitch deep to left field which hit the wall on the fly just barely missing his fourth homer of the day but ended up with a triple to complete his 6-6 game with four homers, two doubles, a triple, four runs scored, and six RBI in the game. This was the best performance the CBB has seen over the last few years as the 49ers were able to pound out 29 hits in the 24-6 rout of UMass.
The CBB would like to thank David Gunn of UMass Media Relations for trying to get us in the press box on this nice day but the UMass facilities do not allow that as they have absolutely no room for any press whatsoever. Hopefully UMass puts some money into the program and upgrade their facilities in the near future.
We would also like to thank Eli Rosenswaike of The Daily Collegian for helping us out for information on the UMass baseball program and giving us a ton of background information. Check out the Daily Collegian by clicking here.