June 1, 2013


Dons Work Extra for Survival

By Isaac Rosenthal

Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com


EUGENE, Ore. – Bob Cruikshank hit a sacrifice fly in the 13th inning to break a 3-3 tie and give San Francisco their first win of the Eugene Regional, sending South Dakota State home with two straight one-run losses.


"It was a tough pill to swallow," South Dakota State Dave Schrage said. "But I'm proud of our guys and the way we battled back and were relentless."


The Jackrabbits faced an uphill battle from the start after San Francisco took a 2-0 lead in the top of second, but SDSU picked up a run in the second and another one in the eighth to tie the score and force extras.


Again in the 10th the Dons took the lead, this time on an RBI single from Bradley Zimmer. With one out in the bottom half of the inning, Daniel Telford nearly grounded into the game-ending double play but the throw was wide of first allowing Al Robbins to score the tying run.


There would be no such response from the Jackrabbits in the 13th when San Francisco loaded the bases with no outs and was able to get a run across on the sac fly.


The Dons live to fight another day with the victory, but they'll have to play at least 18 more innings to advance after playing extra-inning affairs on their first two Regional games.


"I'm not sure everybody knows, but we're trying to set a record for most innings played in a Regional appearance," Dons head coach Nino Giarratano joked.


Giarratano used six pitchers in the win, but said he's confident in his group's conditioning going forward.


"Our pitching coach Greg Moore has done a wonderful job of conditioning these kids all year long. They'll be ready," he said.


San Francisco still has their No. 2 starter Alex Balog fresh, as well as a number of bullpen arms to turn to.


The Dons will play Oregon at noon local time on Sunday for a chance to play the winner of that game.


"Hopefully we play all 18 innings tomorrow in two games, not just one," Giarratano said.