It’s a rare occurrence for the Michigan baseball team to have a live pep band supporting it at Ray Fisher Stadium, but Wednesday was one of those nights as in-state rival Michigan State came to Ann Arbor.

But by game’s end, the silence of the tuba, trumpets and trombones was deafening.

The Wolverines fell to the Spartans 13-10 Wednesday night.

The game does not actually count in the conference standings since the two teams fell off of each other’s schedules this season as part of the Big Ten’s rotation, but they scheduled a pair of midweek games to keep the series alive.

Tuesday’s affair in East Lansing was rained out, and Michigan (10-8 Big Ten, 29-18 overall) probably wishes Wednesday’s were too, especially its pitching staff.

Starting pitcher and junior right-hander Matt Miller lasted just three innings, giving up seven hits and five runs while redshirt freshman left-hander Matt Broder finished the final 4.1 innings of the game solidly.

But senior left-hander Eric Katzman and junior right-hander Kolby Wood combined to give up six runs in just 1.2 innings.

“Had we shut them down earlier, we probably would have won the game,” Michigan coach Rich Maloney said. “The irony is, that was some of our veteran pitchers that haven’t really pitched particularly well. But we know they have some ability. It’s time for them to grow up and get something done.”

The game bounced back and forth early on as Michigan scored twice in each of the first two innings, but Michigan State (8-10 Big Ten, 30-16 overall) fired back with four runs in the third and had a 7-5 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth inning.

That’s when sophomore designated hitter Coley Crank struck. With two men on base, he launched the ball deep to right center and out of the park. All told, Crank hit two homers and knocked in five runs, a positive sign since the Pinole, California native had been struggling at the plate recently.

That blast gave the Wolverines an 8-7 lead, but it would be the last one they would have as the Spartans answered with five runs the next inning and never looked back.

“You never want to go out in the field and spend a half an hour out there while the other guys are circling the bases,” senior first baseman Mike Dufek said. “After a while, your rhythm really gets broken up by it. We got to figure it out. Pitching and hitting have to feed off one another.”

Michigan did appear to be well on the way to coming back in the bottom of the inning. The Wolverines plated two thanks to junior centerfielder Ryan LaMarre’s single to cut the score to 12-10.

After senior catcher Chris Berset struck out for the second out of the inning, Crank singled to left field and appeared to drive in redshirt junior second baseman Anthony Toth and make the score 12-11.

But LaMarre got caught rounding second base too far and was thrown out. After the home plate umpire initially ruled that Toth scored before the out occurred, he later took the run off the board.

Maloney called the ruling a “bad mistake” and said he thought the play was critical to the outcome. If LaMarre would have been safe, Michigan would have had two men on base down just one run.

Instead, the inning was over and the Spartans added an insurance run in the next frame to take the 13-10 lead.

And while the game doesn’t affect the conference race at all, Michigan was still disappointed to lose to its hated rival.

“Reality is we’re in first place,” Maloney said. “They’re not in first place. We certainly didn’t act like (a first place team), but … we got six games to go in the league and we got to play well in those six games. You can’t make the mistakes we made today and expect to win.

“Hopefully, this bad loss kicks (the team) in the rear and says, ‘Hey, we got to go.’ “

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