Sunday’s matchup with Harvard marked the last chance for
Michigan’s baseball team to put the winning taste in its
mouth before heading back to Ann Arbor for its home opener.

Coming into the weekend, the Wolverines (5-9) appeared to be on
the right track, taking five of their last six contests, after
dropping their first five games.

This weekend’s contests, hosted by Louisiana-Lafayette,
featured a game with Louisiana-Lafayette (12-6) Friday, followed by
a pair with Harvard (4-3). The trip south was a ticket back on the
roller coaster for the Wolverines, as inconsistency led to a
three-game skid when Michigan was outscored 24-9. Friday’s
16-5 loss to the Ragin’ Cajuns was the only occasion when
Michigan pitchers faltered. The 3-1 loss Saturday and 5-3 loss
yesterday featured good pitching, while the offense lay relatively
dormant.

“The pitching was there this weekend, we just didn’t
have the offense,” sophomore A.J. Scheidt said. “In
weeks past, we’ve had the offense and not the pitching. We
just need to get consistent in all three facets of the
game.”

Michigan’s fortunes looked to be turning for the better
yesterday. In the second, down 1-0, sophomore Matt Rademacher
knocked a ball up the middle for a hit. The centerfielder misplayed
the ball, and Rademacher found himself in scoring position at
second. Sophomore Jeremy Goldschmeding followed with a line-drive
triple and the Wolverines appeared to be in business, tying the
game at one with one out. But Michigan couldn’t convert
Goldschmeding into a run. After a line out and a fly out, the
chance to take the lead was gone.

“We are just a play or two away, a hit or two away from
winning both ballgames (against Harvard),” Michigan coach
Rich Maloney said.

Harvard responded with a two-run third and never surrendered the
lead.

Scheidt did manage to put a dent in the Harvard lead when he
knocked a Hendricks pitch over the right field fence in the sixth.
The 3-for-4 performance puts Scheidt atop Michigan’s stat
sheet in batting average (.404), home runs (3) and RBIs (14).

“I’m just staying with my game plan, which is
usually being aggressive and attack fastballs,” Scheidt
said.

Junior Michael Penn, coming off a co-Big Ten pitcher of the week
award, put up six and one third innings of solid work, giving up
four runs — just three of which were earned. But, unlike his
four-hitter of a week ago, the Wolverine offense wasn’t there
to back him up en route to a loss.

Trey Hendricks, who had earned a save for Harvard in
Saturday’s game, went the distance yesterday for the Crimson
and chipped in three hits and an RBI.

Saturday’s loss to Harvard was more of the same for the
Wolverines. Senior Bobby Garza was sharp through five innings,
yielding just four base runners and a single run.

Freshman Brad Roblin’s RBI single in the first inning that
drove in junior Matt Butler gave Michigan an early lead. But no
lead is safe for long, as Michigan had learned Friday during its
shellacking at the hands of Louisiana-Lafayette.

Garza did suffer some control problems. In the fourth, he opened
the inning by plunking Harvard’s Bryan Hale, followed by a
wild pitch to move Hale into scoring position. After walking the
next Crimson batter, Lance Salsgiver, Garza again threw a pitch
past the catcher, Rademacher. Hale moved up again and was then
driven in on a fielder’s choice back to Garza.

“My concentration started to slip a little bit,”
Garza said. “I just had to buckle down and settle into
it.”

Garza escaped the inning with Hale’s run as the only
damage.

The game remained deadlocked at one until the eighth when
Michigan sophomore Derek Feldkamp gave up a two-run double to a
pinch-hitter Rob Wheeler. Michigan failed to put a hit on the board
for the remainder of the game.

Feldkamp, who has been one of Michigan’s best pitchers,
turned in another solid performance in relief Saturday despite
suffering the loss. He contributed eight of Michigan’s
season-high 14 strikeouts during his four innings of relief.

“He’s shown signs of really emerging as a top flight
pitcher,” Maloney said. “And he’s becoming a
leader on our staff.”

Coming into the home opener against Oakland, Friday, Michigan
will rely on Feldkamp out of the bullpen.

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