May 19, 2012
ROCHESTER, Mich. – Nolan Jacoby was 4-for-4 and Kyle Bobolts drove in the game winning run in the 11th inning, as Oakland (24-29, 15-6) rallied to win, 6-5, over Southern Utah (18-34, 12-11) on Senior Day, Saturday at the OU Baseball Field. The Golden Grizzlies wrapped up the No. 2 seed for the upcoming Summit League Championship.
“In typical fashion our guys gave a tremendous effort and found a way to win,” said head coach John Musachio. “There were so many great efforts that I can’t give praise to every individual, but Nolan Jacoby was sensational and I thought Brady Adamek gave us a strong start. Our bullpen was also a big factor and helped us find a way to win.”
The two teams were tied 4-4, through the first 10 innings before David Headley put Southern Utah in front with a solo home run in the top of the 11th. Oakland rallied in the bottom of the frame, as Spencer Marentette came through with an RBI-double that tied the game and Kyle Bobolts hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the game-winning run. It was the second consecutive last at-bat victory for the Golden Grizzlies and sixth of the season.
Greg Welke threw three scoreless innings of relief without allowing a hit, to lead the Oakland bullpen. The OU relievers allowed just two hits over the final five innings of the game.
Oakland had the lead on four separate occasions, but three times Southern Utah rallied to even the score. Aaron Cieslak put OU in front in the first inning with a sacrifice fly to score Jake Morton for a 1-0 lead. Bobolts hit an RBI-single in the second inning to bring in Jacoby for a 2-1 lead.
With the score tied 2-2 in the third, Jacoby came through again with a two-RBI single that put OU ahead 4-2. The Thunderbirds continued to chip away and eventually tied the game in the seventh inning to force extras..
Russell Luxton (3-4) pitched the 11th inning and earned the win in relief. Starter Brady Adamek went six innings and had five strikeouts in a no-decision. Kevin Kline (0-1) gave up the final two runs and took the loss for Southern Utah.
The Golden Grizzlies outhit the Thunderbirds 14-10 behind Jacoby’s career-high four hits. Marentette and Bobolts both had two hits each for the Black and Gold. Headley, Marcus Romero and Mitchell Kauweloa each had two hits to lead Southern Utah.
Oakland honored their 10-member senior class following the game. Oakland's 2012 seniors are: Adamek, Dan Augustine, Cieslak, John Estes, Jeff Gorecki, Brad Pascoe, Tim Ryan, Craig Sacha, Welke and Alex Wierenga.
“We feel like we have momentum heading into the tournament,” said Musachio, whose team finished the season winning 21 of the final 30 games. “We believe that any team that has earned its way to the league tournament has a chance to win it. We’re playing with a lot of confidence right now, so it’ll be a fun challenge for us.”
Oakland will return to action on Thursday against No. 3 North Dakota State in the opening round of The Summit League Championship hosted by Oral Roberts. First pitch is slated for 4:30 p.m. ET at J.L. Johnson Stadium in Tulsa, Okla.