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San Francisco Outlasts South Dakota in the Eugene Regional Elimination Game

SanFranFeaturedSan Francisco has played 24 innings in two days, and are now guaranteed at least another nine, after the Dons defeated South Dakota 4-3 in 13 innings in the Eugene Regional at PK Park.

“We are trying to set a record for most innings played in a regional appearance,” said San Francisco head coach Nino Giarratano. “Hopefully we can stay here and play all 18 innings in two games, not just one tomorrow.”

In the top of the 13 inning, San Francisco’s Bradley Zimmer reached first on an error by South Dakota’s Al Robbins. On the next pitch, Zimmer swiped second base putting a runner in scoring position.

An ensuing walk to first baseman Zachary Turner, followed by a pass ball and another walk, brought third baseman Bob Cruikshank to the plate.

Cruikshank, 1-3 on the day, delivered a sacrifice fly to drove home the go-ahead run.

“I am really proud of my kids,” Giarratano said. “The inspiration you get from watching college baseball right now is fabulous. This team is resilient. We rallied around the two indivudals who had a tough day yesterday, we got a guy today who is a bit wounded. It say’s a lot about this team’s will to compete.”

The scoring got started in the second inning, after back-to-back singles by San Francisco’s Bob Cruikshank and Mitchell Rowan put runners at the corners with one out.

As the pitcher began his windup, Justin Miller squared around and delivered a safety-squeeze to give San Francisco a 1-0 lead.

Don’s catcher Ryan Matranga then followed with an RBI single to center, giving San Francisco an early 2-0 advantage.

South Dakota State responded in the bottom half of the inning, when left fielder Paul Jacobson lined a out double down the left field line.

Shortstop Daniel Marra moved Jacobson to third on a solid single to center and first baseman Aaron Machibitz drove him in on a sac-fly to center field.

San Francisco starter Christian Cecilio battled in and out of trouble in the game, especially in the bottom of the fifth inning, when South Dakota State got a leadoff double by Daniel Marra.

Marra moved to third on a one out single by Reid Clary, but the Jackrabbits had a bit of bad luck when Zach Coppola’s slow chopper was fielded by the catcher. Although Coppola beat the throw, Marra was unable to score.

After a brief meeting on the mound, Cecilio got South Dakota second baseman Al Robbins to bounce into a 4-6-3 double play to escape the jam.

The Jackrabbits were able to rally in the eighth inning.

After a single and a hit-by-pitch, right fielder Scott Splett slapped a ball into left field to tie the game at 2-2.

In the tenth inning, San Francisco’s Bradley Zimmer singled home Justin Maffei to give the Dons a 3-2 lead.

The Jackrabbits were able to thwart off elimination in the bottom half of the tenth, when San Francisco shortstop Josh Miller threw wildly to first on a 4-6-3 double play that would have sealed the deal for the Dons.

South Dakota put a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the 13th, but was unable to score as Reid Clary grounded out to second to end the game.

San Francisco will play the loser of Rice and Oregon tomorrow afternoon at 12:00 p.m. PT

South Dakota’s season is over. The Jackrabbits finished  35-24.

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