April 27, 2013
PAPILLION, Neb. - Right-handed pitcher Tim Koons (4-5) threw 8.0 strong innings, allowing three runs and struck out three, while RHP Russell Luxton Jr. earned his fourth save to lead Oakland (11-26, 6-7) to a split versus South Dakota State (20-14, 6-5) on Saturday at Fricke Field. The Golden Grizzlies lost game one, 8-1, and won game two, 4-3.
"Proud of how we bounced back after a very sloppy game one," said OU coach John Musachio. "Tim Koons really set the tone on the mound which allowed us to settle in and play our game. We played strong defense and had timely hits from (Robby) Enslen and (Kyle) Bobolts. Russ (Luxton Jr.) made big time pitches in a high pressure ninth inning."
In the opener, SDSU's RHP Stephen Bougher (5-1) was the story, tossing six scoreless innings before surrendering the only run of the game for OU in the seventh inning. Bougher tossed a complete-game, two-hitter and struck out three.
Brett Impemba had the only two hits for the Golden Grizzlies in game one, finishing 2-for-3 and drove in OU's only run. RHP Jake Paulson (1-7) took the loss, throwing 4.2 innings, allowing five hits, six runs, five earned runs and struck out five.
Koons threw seven scoreless innings in the nightcap and had a 4-0 lead heading into the eighth inning. SDSU would then get a walk, an infield single and Aaron Machbitz would connect on a three-run home run to bring the Jacks within one, 4-3. Koons would retire three of the next four batters to end the threat.
The Golden Grizzlies had an excellent chance to extend their lead in the ninth inning. Brosseau walked and then stole second base, making it to third base on a throwing error by the SDSU catcher. With Brosseau on third and no outs, OU was unable to push the run across after a ground out and two strikeouts.
The Jacks put their leadoff batter on in the bottom of the ninth inning and Luxton entered the game for the Grizzlies. After a sacrifice bunt and catcher's interference, Luxton induced a ground out to first base where the runners moved up to second and third. The senior pitcher would then record a strikeout to end the game and give the Golden Grizzlies a 2-1 series lead.
The third and final game will take place on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for Noon ET.