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Tensions ran high from the first pitch on for the Michigan baseball team in the first game of its doubleheader on Saturday.

The Wolverines started cold from the jump, giving up an error to the first Iowa batter, allowing him to reach second base and then making another error that scored the Hawkeyes’ first run. This prompted an emphatic conversation between Michigan coach Erik Bakich and the home plate umpire that left Bakich dangerously close to being ejected. This frustration carried through the end of the game as Michigan (13-12, 2-2 Big Ten) lost 8-2 to the Hawkeyes (13-9, 1-0 Big Ten).

While the Wolverines were excited to have their top starter, junior right-hander Cameron Weston, back in their rotation, his start did not go as planned. Through 4.2 innings, he gave up nine hits, six runs and four walks. The damage was primarily done to Weston in the fourth inning. 

Between a combination of successful hit and runs, bunts and singles through holes in the infield, Iowa tallied four runs that sent Michigan into a frenzy. The fifth inning did not go much better for the Wolverines as the Hawkeyes put up two more runs that sent both Weston and freshman right-hander Jake Keaser to the bench. 

The Iowa offense wasn’t the only issue. There were many self-inflicting wounds that caused Michigan to dig itself such a deficit. With four errors, fumbled transfer attempts in the outfield and many passed balls, the Hawkeyes appeared to be able to walk around the bases with ease. 

That wasn’t all. Offensively, the Wolverines couldn’t generate anything through the first seven innings, getting just three hits. They did, however, start showing signs of life in the eighth inning as grad transfer third basemen Matt Frey singled up the middle with the bases loaded that scored two runs. While junior left fielder Tito Flores hit a rope into center field in the hopes of driving in more runs, Iowa center fielder Kyle Huckstorf lunged out to make a diving catch that ended the inning. 

Senior left-hander Walker Cleveland did halt the Hawkeyes offense to just one run through the last four innings, but the damage was already done. 

If Michigan is going to seriously compete in the Big Ten, it cannot afford to get into large scoring holes. Between a seven-run loss against Oakland on Wednesday and now a six-run loss the next time out, Michigan’s problems are more apparent than ever.