May 25, 2012
TULSA, Okla. – Nolan Jacoby’s two-RBI single brought in the winning runs, as Oakland (25-30) won, 4-2, in come-from-behind fashion over Southern Utah (18-36) on Friday in an elimination game in The Summit League Championship at J.L. Johnson Stadium. The Golden Grizzlies will play another elimination game on Friday at 8 p.m. ET.
“Jason Hager did a great job against the Southern Utah hitters for a second straight week, which is not easy to do,” said head coach John Musachio. “We had some timely hits against their pitcher, Kelsey Outram. He did a good getting ahead of our hitters early in the game and pitched well, but later we slowed him down and took advantage of our opportunities.”
Oakland trailed 2-1 heading into the eighth inning, but back-to-back singles by Jake Morton and Mike Carson loaded the bases. That brought up Aaron Cieslak who tied the game with a sacrifice fly that was caught just in front of the left-field wall. A wild pitch moved both OU runners into scoring position and Jacoby delivered with a single up the middle that allowed both Morton and Cieslak to score. That put the Golden Grizzlies ahead for good.
Jason Hager (5-3) had six strikeouts over eight innings to earn the win for Oakland. Hager’s fifth win of the season ties for the team lead and he improves to 5-0 against Summit League opponents this season. Greg Welke (2) came in to pitch get the final three outs for OU and earned his second save of the year.
Tim Ryan scored Oakland’s first run of the game on an RBI-double by Cieslak in the sixth inning, making it 1-1. Southern Utah responded with a run in the bottom of the frame as Kevin Kline scored on a pitch in the dirt.
Ryan was 2-for-5 at the plate and scored twice. Ryan also made a key defensive play in the fourth when he threw out Kline at home to end the inning. Cieslak and Jacoby both had one hit, but drove in two runs each.
The Thunderbirds outhit the Golden Grizzlies 8-7. Brad Royer was 3-for-4, whileMarcus Romero and Kline added two hits each.
Oakland will play the loser of the game between No. 1 seed Oral Roberts and No. 3 seed North Dakota State. Southern Utah is eliminated from The Summit League Championship.