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Jacks Stay Alive, Oust Oakland



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ROCHESTER, Mich. – Stephen Bougher pitched eight-plus solid innings and the Jackrabbit offense got going in the late innings as South Dakota State stayed alive in the Summit League Baseball Championship with an 8-4 victory over Oakland Friday afternoon.

 

The top-seeded Jackrabbits, who scored in each of their last five trips to the plate, improved to 32-22 overall and will play the loser between Western Illinois and North Dakota State in another elimination game at 3 p.m. Eastern Time (2 p.m. Central) on Saturday. Second-seeded Oakland, which fell 2-0 to North Dakota State earlier in the day, ended its final season in The Summit League with a 20-35 overall record.

 

SDSU broke a scoreless deadlock with a two-out rally in the fifth inning. A walk to Reid Clary was followed by a run-scoring double to the right-center gap by Andrew Melton off Golden Grizzly starter Tim Koons.

 

The Jackrabbits made it 3-0 in the sixth on a two-run home run by Daniel Telford – his sixth round-tripper of the season.

 

Oakland came right back in the home half of the sixth, taking advantage of a Jackrabbit error to score four unearned runs. Nolan Jacoby singled in the first two runs of the inning and Robby Enslen gave the Golden Grizzlies the lead with a two-run double down the left-field line.

 

SDSU responded against the Oakland bullpen with a pair of unearned runs in the seventh. Clary reached on an error and moved to second on a base hit by Melton. The next two Jackrabbit hitters were retired before Scott Splett tied the game with a double and Paul Jacobson plated the go-ahead run with an infield single.

 

The Golden Grizzlies loaded the bases in the home half of the seventh, but did not score.

 

The Jackrabbits gained some breathing room in the eighth with a pair of runs on a sacrifice fly by Melton and two-out run-scoring single by Al Robbins. SDSU tacked on its final run in the ninth with another two-out run on a double by Machbitz and single by Clary.

 

The bottom third of the Jackrabbit lineup – Machbitz, Clary and Melton – combined to go 7-for-12 and score six of SDSU’s eight runs. Machbitz was 3-for-5, while Clary and Melton each tallied a pair of hits. Telford also recorded a pair of hits as SDSU out-hit Oakland, 12-8.

 

Bougher, who struck out four and walked three, left the game after allowing a leadoff single in the ninth. J.D. Moore recorded the final three outs – all on popouts – to finish off the Jackrabbit victory.

 

The victory was Bougher’s eighth of the season and 22nd of his career, moving him into sole possession of second place on the all-time Jackrabbit wins list with 22.

 

Trent Drumheller and Spencer Marentette each notch two of the Golden Grizzlies’ eight hits.

 

-Courtesy SDSU Athletics

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