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Michigan baseball team falls in grueling series against Rutgers

The Scarlet Knights won two games in the best of three.

COLLEGE BASEBALL: MAR 05 Shriners Children’s College Classic - Michigan vs Louisville Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines baseball team traveled to Piscataway over the weekend to square off with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a three-game series. Rutgers won two of three in a series that saw a lot of runs and a lot of rain.

Game 1: 13-0 L

The series didn’t get off to the best start. Connor O’Halloran got the start for Michigan and he could not tame Rutgers’ bats. It was a rare off day for O’Halloran.

Rutgers jumped on Michigan with four runs in the 1st and three in the 2nd to take a quick 7-0 lead, and the Wolverines were never able to get back in it.

For the third time this season, Michigan got shutout, and the Scarlet Knights cruised to a 13-0 victory. Christian Coppola got the win on the mound for Rutgers.

Game 2: 13-8 W

What a wild ride game two was. Things looked extremely bleak for Michigan early on as the Scarlet Knights jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead after two and it looked like it could be another blowout loss. Then the 4th inning happened.

The Wolverines added a couple in the 3rd to make it 6-2, but still had a lot of work to do. With two outs in the 4th, Michigan had yet to bring a run in in the inning. Rutgers failed to get out of the jam when a wild pitch scored Mitch Voit to make it 6-3, but the damage really came when Ted Burton launched a three-run shot to tie the game.

Then the rain took over. After a lengthy delay, the game was suspended and it was decided the game would be finished on Sunday morning with the final game of the series following shortly after.

When the game resumed, the score was tied 6-6 and the Wolverines were still at the plate in the 4th. Joe Longo was the first man up with Jonathon Kim on first. Even the delay that extended to the next day couldn’t cool off the Wolverines’ bats and Longo homered to give Michigan an 8-6 lead.

O’Halloran ended up coming in for game two as well and had a great performance. He went six innings and only gave up two runs, which came in the 5th to tie the game, 8-8.

The game was tied for a few more innings before Michigan’s bats came alive again. With some help from a couple Rutgers errors, Michigan took an 11-8 lead after the 8th, and extended the lead to 13-8 on a two-RBI single from Jack Van Remortel in the 9th.

O’Halloran closed things out in the 9th and then got the W on the mound. Ben Gorski got the L for Rutgers.

Game 3: 6-3 L

With the series on the line, the unfortunate trend of Rutgers going up 6-0 continued. It was impressive the Wolverines were able to overcome that deficit in game two, but to do it twice in a row was a tall task.

Fast forward to the 8th inning and Michigan was still trailing by six and things were looking bleak, as the Wolverine offense had been stagnant all day. The scoring drought finally ended when Longo hit an RBI-single, but it was a Van Remortel two-RBI double that gave the Wolverines some hope as they trailed by just three.

Unfortunately, the rally fell short and Rutgers won, 6-3, to get the series win. Drew Conover got the win for Rutgers and Noah Rennard took the loss for Michigan.

At the end of the day, you can’t go down 6-0 and expect to win baseball games. The comeback in game two was awesome, but if Michigan wants to take the next step, it has to get off to better starts.

The Wolverines play again this Wednesday at home against Toledo, with first pitch coming at 4 p.m.