The increasing errors on the mound diminish Michigan’s offensive efforts 12-8 to Michigan State

The Michigan baseball team has no shortage of bad pitching this season. The story was no different against Michigan State on Saturday.

But despite the bats of the Wolverines (24-23 overall, 10-7 Big Ten) catching fire throughout the game, they fell to the Spartans (21-22, 9-8), 12-8, as a result of Michigan’s inability to pitch.

Freshman right-hander Sachem Ramos got the call to start for the third time in four games and took the ball hoping to build on his previous performance. But after two walks to open the game, Ramos’ day was over as quickly as it began. In his place, freshman right-hander Dylan Vigue got the nod. But he couldn’t keep Michigan State off the board, as the two runners Ramos surrendered scored on a two-RBI single.

And despite Michigan getting the run back on an RBI single from graduate second baseman Mack Timbrook, the Spartans responded as soon as they got the chance. In the bottom of the second inning, Michigan State first baseman Sam Thompson launched a rocket to right field for a home run, immediately taking the run back.

The top of the third inning, however, was almost a mirror image of the second, as graduate left fielder Stephen Hrustich hit a home run to center field and scored two to tie the game at three apiece. But at the bottom of the frame, the Spartans immediately got one of those runs back on a sacrifice fly, taking a 4-3 lead.

And when Michigan failed to score in the fourth inning, Michigan State took advantage. At the bottom of the frame, Vigue lost control of his command, and that’s where the Spartans pounced. A wild pitch scored a run after freshman catcher Brock Leitgeb couldn’t find the ball, and another came home in similar fashion two at-bats later. Vigue’s problems in the fourth inning were not just limited to his pitches, but also to his fielding. The next at bat, another Michigan State runner scored when Vigue overthrew junior first baseman Joe Longo and failed to get a third out.

After recording three combined runs in the fifth and sixth innings, Michigan just couldn’t stop the Spartans from firing back. Vigue gave up another run and ended his bad day with nine hits, five earned runs and three walks.

The back-and-forth battle continued into the eighth inning, when Michigan tied the game on a two-run home run by center fielder Jonathan Kim. But Michigan State fired right back with a home run of its own off junior right-hander Will Rogers to take a 9-8 lead. Three at-bats later, Rogers surrendered a three-run blast, putting the nail in the Wolverines’ coffin.

By the end of the game, Michigan was more than serviceable at the plate. With eleven hits and eight runs, it’s clear the Wolverines’ hitters did what they had to do. But it wasn’t enough because of Michigan’s inability to throw.