When Michigan coach Rich Maloney was asked if — in 16 years of coaching collegiate baseball and countless more years around the sport — he had ever experienced a day quite like Saturday in Columbus, he was stumped.

After losing back-to-back double header games to archival Ohio State, both of which came in extra-inning, walk-off fashion, the Michigan baseball team is tasked with putting the weekend behind and focusing on a midweek series with Notre Dame.

“You can’t really think about it too much,” freshman right fielder Michael O’Neill said. “I guess you’ve just got to put this one behind you, as much as it sucked … come Monday, you’ve just got to refocus and get ready.”

Added fifth-year senior captain and second baseman Anthony Toth: “It’s tough, but we’ve got to keep our heads on straight and fight forward.”

On Tuesday, Michigan (6-9 Big Ten, 13-29 overall) plays host to the Fighting Irish (7-10 Big East, 16-21-1) in Ann Arbor. The next night, the teams will travel to South Bend to wrap up the series.

If history is any indication of what may happen, the Wolverines hold the advantage with a commanding 82-44 all-time series lead.

On Tuesday, redshirt sophomore pitcher Matt Broder is expected to make just his second start of the season. The left-hander — typically a reliever — has struggled with command, posting a 7.41 ERA. Broder has given up more walks (11) than strikeouts (8).

Redshirt freshman hurler Logan McAnallen is penciled in to start Wednesday, which is also his second start this season. The lefty leads the team with 38 strikeouts.

Because non-conference games don’t affect Michigan’s pursuit of qualifying for the Big Ten Tournament, its top pitchers don’t normally pitch weekday games.

But after the Wolverines lost another starting pitcher — sophomore Kyle Clark — to a season-ending injury last week, finding pitchers to pitch non-conference games while still keeping arms fresh for the weekend is becoming difficult.

“You can’t control that part of the game,” Maloney said of the injuries to his pitching staff. “The only thing you can do is go with who you have and just keep getting better.”

One thing Maloney thinks his team can control is its approach at the plate — namely the high amount of strikeouts. The Wolverines are hitting just .246 with nearly as many strikeouts (319) as hits (341).

That is something the manager is hoping his team can fix, especially in midweek games.

“We’re just striking out way, way too much,” Maloney said. “My career average with my teams in 16 years (as a manager) is somewhere around .315. But if you don’t fight with two strikes — you know we’re not doing a good enough job (at the plate).

“We’re taking too many called third strikes, that’s just never how we’ve ever been (in my time managing). It’s a mental, psyche thing that just kind of happened. We just have to continue to work our way through it.”

Michigan is currently tied for seventh in the Big Ten, and with a pivotal series coming this weekend when Minnesota travels to Ann Arbor, Maloney wants to see his team continue to progress.

“My biggest thing is I want to see continued improvement,” Maloney said. “The kids are playing their hearts out, so you’ve got to give them that … but there’s just some areas we’ve got to get better in.”

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