Offensive inconsistencies prove to be costly as Michigan drops two of three to Louisville. Jenna Hickey/Daily. Buy this photo.

Scoring runs have not been an issue for the Michigan baseball team this season.

And, numerically speaking, that remained true this weekend. The Wolverines scored 20 runs combined in three games against Louisville. Unfortunately for Michigan (8-7), however, 16 of those runs came in one game, and the offense struggled in the remaining two. This dynamic led the Wolverines to a 1-2 record against the Cardinals (11-4) over the weekend.

“The bottom line is we just need to play better,” Michigan coach Erik Bakich said. “We’ve been here before, it seems like every year. We schedule really tough competitions.”

In the first matchup, the Wolverines jumped to an early lead behind junior catcher Jimmy Obertop’s home run in the second inning. This lead would evaporate quickly, though, and would be held by Louisville for the rest of the game.

Despite junior right-hander Cam Weston’s six innings of work, he gave up four runs, and the offense couldn’t keep up.

The second game of the series proved much more eventful. In the second inning, with the Wolverines leading 2-1, snow started to fall, hard, and it only picked up speed from there.

Michigan took advantage of the terrible conditions, drawing 4 walks, notching 5 hits and putting up 10 runs in the third inning.

“Rain, snow, whatever it is, we practice in it every day,” sophomore left-hander Logan Wood said. “I feel like we’re pretty accustomed to it and it’s our second nature. Regular teams have to make a change to play differently, but we don’t have to (so it’s certainly an advantage).”

Not only did the Wolverines score a lot in the third inning, but all nine batters got on base as Michigan’s depth shined through.

“Definitely a strength of our team is our ability to score runs and get contributions from guys up and down the lineup and from the bench,” Bakich said. “Guys are able to produce like Jordon Rogers did in game two of the series, so we do feel pretty good about our offense and the depth that we do have offensively for sure.”

In the fifth inning, the weather got too dangerous to continue play, so Michigan got a chance to rest until they started where they left off on Sunday in another double header.

Immediately after the game was restarted, junior outfielder Tito Flores hit a home run to show that the pause hadn’t slowed down the Wolverines’ bats. By scoring three more runs and with the bullpen at last performing, Michigan ran away with the win to tie the series.

“I just think Game Two was just a lopsided game,” Bakich said. “A sloppy game with difficult conditions to play in, and we were just fortunate to be the benefactor of a score that was a wide margin in our favor.”

The weekend’s scoring inconsistency struck again in Game Three, as the Wolverines’ offense went silent. Before long, Michigan found itself digging deeper in a hole it already could not climb out of.

“They were able to capitalize on some bloopers today, they created a lot of pressure and they got some big home runs late,” said Bakich.

While junior left-hander Jacob Denner had been very consistent this season, Sunday was not his day. He left the mound one out into the third inning with six earned runs already to his name. And the bullpen was not much help as all four relievers gave up runs in the loss.

“We just haven’t played a complete game yet,” said Bakich. “We’ve had some games where we scored a lot of runs, but we’ve also given up a lot of runs.”

Added Elliott: “Sometimes you’re gonna run into a really tough pitcher, and that’s what happened during our third game Sunday. That’s not really an excuse for our team, though. We have plenty of guys who’ve experienced quality opponents so we just need to string it all together and put some quality at-bats together to score more.”

With the schedule’s difficulty only increasing from this point, the Wolverines need to find offensive consistency if they want results like that of the weekend’s second game, not its first or third, to become the norm.