Jake Marti dives to get an out at first base.
After using its best arms to win its first two games against Rutgers, the Michigan baseball team turned to its depth on Saturday. Julia Schachinger/Daily.  Buy this photo.

With its postseason hopes locked in, the regular season’s end took a new purpose for the Michigan baseball team.

Entering the day locked into the fifth seed of the Big Ten Tournament thanks to wins in their previous two games, the Wolverines took the opportunity to rest most of their typical arms — and struggled in their absence.

Of course, that bullpen day was a byproduct of Thursday’s and Friday’s games, in which the Wolverines went all in with their best arms. 

“We are going to treat every week … from here on out like it’s tournament baseball, double elimination baseball,” Michigan coach Erik Bakich said on Thursday. “(Treat) every individual game like it’s the only game of the week.”

As a result of that mentality, when Saturday rolled around there wasn’t much experience left to put on the mound. 

Senior left-hander Jack White got the start in his fourth appearance of the season. White has struggled this season battling back from injury, and as a result he has not been the high-leverage innings-eater as Michigan hoped him to be.

Though he allowed two runs and only lasted 1.1 innings, it was a sentimental note for the senior to get the chance to play one last regular season game after all the years he has given to Michigan. And White wasn’t the only upperclassmen given that respect.

In addition to White, some other graduating players got time on the mound. Senior right-hander Keaton Carattini — who, like White, has been sidelined by injury — made his second appearance of the year in the fourth inning. However, he also gave up two runs in his inning of work.

That performance could be expected as better arms rested. But some consistent relievers made their way into the game, like when graduate left-hander Angelo Smith made his final regular season appearance in the fifth inning.

Still, the Wolverines got creative with their pitching selections. Even senior infielder Jack Van Remortel got in on the action, taking the mound for the first time in his career. Though he predictably struggled on the mound, he did notch the last two outs in the top of the ninth inning.

Apart from the seniors, underclassmen also got a chance to take the bump. Sophomore right-hander Brandon Lawrence — who also played Friday in the infield — had the Wolverines’ best outing of the day. He tossed 1.2 scoreless innings while allowing no hits and no walks. His outing wasn’t the only quality performance, though. Junior right-hander John Torroella also had a scoreless inning of work in just his second outing of the year.

In the end, though, some of the more established pitchers had less successful outings and that led to the game being blown wide open. 

Sophomore left-hander Logan Wood gave up three runs without recording an out, and sophomore right-hander Ahmad Harajli did the same while only recording one. Even freshman right-hander Jake Keaser gave up four runs in one of his toughest outings of the season.

Michigan’s playoff attitude worked in the first two games of the series, but after all its pitching resources were exhausted, it struggled to put anything resembling a lid on Rutgers’ offense. 

The regular season is officially over, and the attention shifts to whether Michigan’s rested arms can deliver in true playoff baseball.