Michigan’s leadoff man reached base in six of nine innings. Unfortunately for the Wolverines, in those six innings only one led to runs.Missed opportunities and sloppy base running eliminated Michigan (42-19) from the NCAA tournament yesterday with its 4-3 loss to South Carolina.The Wolverines, who received an at-large bid to reach the tournament, posted a 1-2 record in the Atlanta Regional. Michigan’s sole win came against Furman, sandwiched between two losses to South Carolina.The Gamecocks scored all four of their runs in the third inning, three by way of Nick Giesler’s two-out home run to left field. The three-run jack marred senior Drew Taylor’s solid outing — the Wolverine starter allowed just one hit in his remaining 6 1/3 innings, retiring 14 consecutive batters at one point.“In the first two innings, I relied on my changeup — that’s how I got outs,” Taylor said. “Then they made some adjustments and started getting hits. I made an adjustment too and didn’t give up a hit for four innings, but not before that big home run.”The Michigan offense had plenty of chances to help out Taylor — 10 hits and three Gamecock errors — but repeatedly took itself out of an inning, leaving nine runners on base.“That’s the way it goes sometimes,” Taylor said. “You got to give them credit — they kept us down. We had chances to score, but you can’t really say what would have happened if I didn’t give up the home run.”In the first inning, junior Chris Getz got picked off second base with one out and senior Kyle Bohm at the plate. In the next inning, with runners on first and second and no outs, junior Mike Schmidt struck out on three straight pitches. Junior A.J. Scheidt then grounded into a double play.In the seventh inning — with runners at the corners, one out and a 3-1 count to Bohm — sophomore Leif Mahler was picked off at first. After Bohm walked, senior Matt Butler grounded out to second, ending Michigan’s best shot to come back.“No question, the second (pick-off) was huge,” coach Rich Maloney said. “I really felt bad for Mahler — it was a mental lapse. You don’t want that kind of thing on the mind of any of your players, but it’s inexcusable, especially in that situation. If you want to win in tight games, you just can’t do that.”Ironically, all three Michigan runs came with two outs, despite the aforementioned lack of clutch offense. The first score came in the bottom of the third on a two-out single by Mahler, who batted second in the lineup for the first time all season. Mahler was moved up in the order followed two games in which he batted 5-for-7. The two other runs came by way of Scheidt’s RBI double in the sixth inning.Michigan opened up tournament play on Friday with a 6-5 loss to South Carolina. The back-and-forth game featured five lead changes and a two-out RBI single by Bohm in the top of the ninth, tying the game at five. But in the Gamecock’s next at-bat, first basemen Steve Pearce knocked a bases-loaded single just beyond the reach of Getz. The game-winning hit had the Wolverines one loss away from elimination.But Michigan kept itself in contention the next day with a 6-3 victory over Furman. An RBI double by sophomore Brad Roblin in the bottom of the sixth gave the Wolverines a 4-3 lead. Senior Paul Hammond picked up the win, working 4.1 innings of relief.Despite the early exit, Maloney feels the experience is necessary for an emerging program.“We didn’t play our best, but I’m happy we got in. We proved that we deserved to be there. It’s also one of those hurdles that you need to get over if you want to be a successful program.”It was Michigan’s 18th trip to the NCAA tournament and its first since 1999.

Michigan Baseball
After allowing four runs in the third inning, senior Drew Taylor settled down, allowing just one hit in the next 6 1/3 innings of work. (Trevor Campbell/Daily)

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