A trend.

To a stockbroker, it can be the ticket to millions of dollars.
For the Michigan baseball team, a trend meant the end of their
search for a Big Ten Tournament title and a bid into the NCAA
tournament.

One of the season’s trends was the series split. Of
Michigan’s eight Big Ten series, three ended in a split. So
when Ohio State faced Michigan in the teams’ second meeting
of the double-elimination tournament on Saturday, it seemed
appropriate that the trend would win out. After beating the
Buckeyes Thursday, Ohio State responded with a 14-2 victory. The
defeat, which followed a 16-3 loss to eventual champion Minnesota,
knocked the Wolverines out of the double elimination tournament.
Michigan managed to muster only a pair of hits while committing
four errors in the field against the Gophers.

After launching a 10-run assault in the first two innings of the
first contest with Ohio State, the Michigan offense began to lose
steam. Buckeye pitcher Jeffrey Carroll came in to stop the rally,
combing with two other Ohio State relievers to keep the Wolverines
off the board after the second inning of Thursday’s 10-4
Michigan victory.

After Thursday’s win, Michigan’s record was 4-1
against the Buckeyes. But the Wolverines still felt getting win No.
5 wouldn’t come easy.

“I think we were confident as a team,” junior
pitcher Ali Husain said. “But I don’t think we took
them lightly or anything. It’s still Michigan-Ohio
State.”

While the offense struggled, the pitching was unable to pick up
the slack. With pitchers Drew Taylor and Bobby Garza injured, the
Wolverines needed the rest of the staff to pick up the slack. But
in the end, the innings took its toll.

“I want to see my starters do well and pitch well, but at
the same time, I want to get in there and pitch,” Husain
said. “I’m confident that when I go in there I will
pick up the starters and finish the job hat they
started.”

Saturday’s starter, junior Phil Tognetti, spent most of
the season in the bullpen. The Buckeyes jumped out to an early lead
and continued to pile on runs in each of the first seven innings.
Ohio State surprised the Wolverines by going with Carroll on short
rest after he shut down Michigan just two days earlier.

“They got out ahead of us early,” Husain said.
“They just kind of kept the momentum the whole time. It was a
good job by them.”

While the Wolverine deficit continued to grow, the Michigan bats
sat idle. It wasn’t until the fifth inning that Carroll
yielded a base runner. The following inning, sophomore second
baseman Chris Getz hit a two-run homer to bring his team to within
nine. But Carroll, along with Justin Myers, shut down the
Wolverines the rest of the way, ending the Wolverines season.

Perhaps the highlight of tournament for Michigan came from the
play of a pair of youngsters in Getz, freshman shortstop Leif
Mahler and veteran senior DH Brandon Roberts. Getz — who
batted .600 — and Roberts were named to the All-Big Ten
tournament team. Mahler finished third on the team in the
tournament with a .357 batting average.

“Chris Getz is truly one of the better players in the
country at second base. That’s an inarguable fact.”
Maloney said. “It’s too bad that we didn’t win
the (tournament) because he would have been the MVP.”

Getz and Roberts also received regular-season honors, joining
junior Jim Brauer as First Team All Big Ten players. Juniors Kyle
Bohm and Paul Hammond were named to the second team and Matt Butler
to the third team.

“Next year we are going to expect big things out of
ourselves,” Husain said.

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