YPSILANTI, Mich. — Michigan baseball fans were given new hope for their team over the past week. The first home games of the season were exciting, eventful, and three of the four ended in Michigan wins. The weather was warm, and the stands were full.

But Wednesday’s game at Eastern Michigan was the polar opposite. The sky was gray, the stands were empty, and the game ended in an embarrassing 12-2 loss.

Recently, the Wolverines have tended to either cruise over opponents or lose handily. On Monday, they beat Oakland, 6-1, and on Sunday, they defeated Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne, 11-3.

But they’ve also had games like the ones against Coastal Carolina two weekends ago, when they lost 7-3 and then 6-2. There was a 6-0 loss to Louisiana State and an 8-1 loss to Florida Gulf Coast.

Still, Wednesday night’s game takes the cake. Michigan has never looked or sounded so dispirited as it did after the game against the Eagles.

The question is: once Big Ten play starts this weekend, will the Wolverines pull off one of their one-sided wins, or will they crumble the way they did at Eastern?

“We just have to limit the walks and play good defense, and if we have a couple timely hits, we’ll have a chance to win,” said junior outfielder Patrick Biondi.

Problems arose from all areas of the game on Tuesday — the pitching, hitting and fielding. But the biggest problem, according to Michigan coach Rich Maloney, is the “freebies.” The Wolverines gave up a total of six walks.

“We didn’t take advantage of the freebies they gave us, and they certainly took advantage of the freebies we gave them,” Maloney said.

Biondi has played consistently all season, even in Wednesday’s loss. He went 3-for-5 and scored one of the team’s run against Eastern. One the season, he has a .323 batting average and leads the Wolverines in runs with 24.

“It’s really encouraging to see Patrick really get hot,” Maloney said. “He’s swinging really well.”

But even though Biondi played well, he was still disheartened by the team’s overall performance.

“We walked a lot of guys, we made some errors and we didn’t get timely hits,” Biondi said. “So it just wasn’t a good combination to win the game.”

The team is hoping that the game against Eastern is the outlier of the season, but facts show they’ve had blowout losses before. Now that Big Ten season has arrived, it’s a whole new ball field and the game could change dramatically, once again.

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