May 5, 2012
BROOKINGs, S.D. – Jeff Gorecki and Russell Luxton combined for an outstanding pitching performance for Oakland (19-26, 10-3) in a 4-2 victory over South Dakota State (14-28-1, 3-10) on Saturday at Erv Huether Field. It was the eighth consecutive win in league play for the Golden Grizzlies, who opened the weekend tied for first place in The Summit League.
“Jeff Gorecki continues to impress on the mound,” said Oakland head coach John Musachio. “He did an outstanding job of getting ahead of their hitters all day. Offensively, we executed in spots and managed to beat a good pitcher, in Stephen Bougher.”
Neither pitcher allowed an earned run on Saturday. Gorecki (4-5) had five strikeouts and scattered seven hits for his team-leading fourth win of the season. Luxton (8) came on to record the final four outs and earned the save. Luxton’s eight saves ties for second most in a single-season in OU history.
Oakland scored two runs in the sixth to break open a game that had been a scoreless pitcher’s duel through the first five innings. After back-to-back walks, Spencer Marentette hit a line drive that tipped off the glove of a leaping SDSU first baseman and into right field to drive in Mike Carson. With the bases loaded, OU scored again off an errant throw by the SDSU pitcher in an attempt to start a 1-2-3 double play. Although the Jackrabbits got the batter at first, Aaron Cieslak scored on the play.
Oakland added an important insurance run in the eighth. With Marentette on first, John Estes singled to the outfield. The Jackrabbits caught Estes in a rundown, but allowed Marentette to score the game-winning run on the play.
The Jackrabbits rallied to score two runs in the bottom of the eighth. Then, with two runners on base, Zach Rhodes singled to the left side. Kyle Bobolts made a diving stop to keep the ball in the infield and he was able to throw out the would-be tying run at the plate to end the inning.
Despite a combined nine errors between the two teams, the OU defense made a number of good plays. Tim Ryan had a pair of diving catches in centerfield and Cieslak turned an unassisted double play.
Trent Drumheller and Jake Morton both had two hits to lead Oakland. Drumheller also scored an insurance run in the ninth, when he singled and later scored on pickoff attempt that was dropped by the first baseman. OU and SDSU collected nine hits each. Rhodes, Andrew Phelan and Daniel Marra had two hits each for the Jacks.
Due to rain, the start of the game was delayed by over four hours and the teams were unable to start the second game of the scheduled doubleheader. League rules prohibit the teams from extending the series to Monday, so the series has been shortened to three games.
Oakland and SDSU will wrap up the Summit League series with a doubleheader on Sunday starting at 1 p.m. ET. Both games of the doubleheader will be nine innings.