ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Zach Putnam struck out four batters in five innings to win his eighth straight start and Michigan began its NCAA tournament play with a 7-5 victory over Kentucky on Saturday.
Putnam gave up an RBI single to Tyler Howe in the second, but Michigan answered with five runs in the bottom of the inning, including Jason Christian's two-run double, to take the lead for good.
Rain halted the game Friday evening with Michigan ahead 5-1 in the fifth, but Kentucky caught up with a four-run eighth. The Wildcats (42-18) brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the inning but reliever Michael Powers induced an inning-ending groundout.
He allowed two baserunners in the ninth but retired the last two batters to earn his eighth save of the season. Christian and Leif Mahler each finished with two RBIs for Michigan (46-12), which is hosting a regional for the first time in 22 years.
Kentucky's Chris Rusin (6-3) faced just nine batters before being pulled in the second. The 1 1-3 innings was the shortest start of his career. Sawyer Carroll led off the eighth with a solo homer off Eric Katzman before Howe and pinch hitter Bryan Rose had bases-loaded RBIs.