It wasn’t the ending Michigan had hoped would come on Wednesday night. When the final out was recorded in Game 3 of the College World Series, it was Vanderbilt that owned an 8-2 advantage and would be holding up the national championship trophy.

Heartbreak set in for the Wolverines. After an incredible postseason run — winning the Corvallis Regional; defeating top-ranked UCLA in the Super Regional; reaching the College World Series Championship — Michigan fell one victory short of calling itself a national champion.

But the disappointment from Wednesday’s loss isn’t what head coach Erik Bakich wants to focus on. Instead of the negative, he’s talking about a new standard set for Michigan baseball, and the bright future ahead for the program.

“The legacy of this group isn’t winning 50 games, or we were national runner-up or any of the accolades we got along the way, it’s that this team, Team 153, has inspired a future generation of Michigan baseball players to realize what the new standard of college baseball is all about,” Bakich said in an interview recorded by Angelique Chengelis of The Detroit News. “(They) inspired a believability that being a national champion is a reality. We were one game away from it.”

Michigan finished the year 50-22 and got off to a lightning-quick start once reaching Omaha. The Wolverines won their first four games of the College World Series and looked almost unbeatable on the diamond.

Vanderbilt was the No. 2 team in the country for a reason, though. Outstanding pitching, excellent defense and efficient hitting was enough to give the Commodores a second national title in six seasons (2014).

A College World Series run, though, can lead to a better and brighter future for the Wolverines and B1G baseball.

“What the ripple effect of (the College World Series), and how that will impact recruiting and the growth of our program and the consistency could take place from here on. Being a perennial Omaha contender, national championship contender,” Bakich said. “That’s what’s really exciting about this. It’s tough to feel that right now.”

Michigan’s College World Series appearance was the first in over 30 years. The appearance in the championship round was the first for the B1G since 1966.