Michigan baseball faces uphill battle in Big Ten baseball tournament after loss

Michigan baseball had Penn State on the ropes before a grand slam in the eighth inning sent them to the loser's bracket.
State Farm College Baseball Showdown
State Farm College Baseball Showdown / Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/GettyImages

Winning the Big Ten baseball tournament is difficult to do if you don't advance to the semifinal round undefeated and after being just six outs away, the Wolverines find themselves in the exact situation they don't want to be in after a 9-5 loss to Penn State on Thursday night.

Penn State advances to the semifinals undefeated. Michigan baseball nearly took that step on Thursday night after a three-run home run by Mitch Voit gave the Wolverines a 5-3 lead in the top of the eighth inning.

Michigan baseball needed just six outs to be halfway toward another Big Ten tournament championship, yet a Penn State grand slam dashed those hopes. Or least dealt them a setback.

Chase Allen started the game for the Wolverines and left with a no decision. Michigan baseball was scoreles until the fifth inning when Will Rogers hit a two-run home run to give the Wolverines a 2-1 lead. Penn State took it right back with a homer in the bottom half of the inning, which is the same thing that happened in the eighth.

The Voit home run gave Michigan the lead and it felt like a win was right around the corner, but the Nittany Lions ralled for their second straight win as the No. 8 seed.

Next up for Michigan is regular-season champion Illinois. The Wolverines will play on Friday night at 7 p.m. against the Illini. A win would give the Wolverines another chance to face Penn State, but they would need to beat the Nittany Lions twice on Saturday to reach the winner-take-all Big Ten championship game. A loss Saturday and the season is over.