South Dakota State (16-31-1, 5-12) got another run on an RBI double from Beau Hanowski in the following inning to push its lead back to four, but the Thunderbirds answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth to trim the deficit to 5-3. Marcus Romero grounded into a fielder's choice to bring in a run and Chase Rezac added an RBI double down the left-field line to bring Southern Utah within two.
The Jacks put together another big inning in the top of the seventh as first baseman Aaron Machbitz hit the second three-run home run of the day for his team as part of a five-run inning that saw South Dakota State take a 10-3 lead.
The T-Birds battled back in the bottom half of the frame as the first two batters safely reached base. Rezac then drove a pitch over the left field wall for a three-run blast that pulled SUU within four. Then after the Thunderbirds had loaded the bases, Ricker put a ball down the right-field line for a two RBI single. Bo Cuthbertson drove in another run with a groundout RBI to pull the team within a single run, but SDSU reliever DJ Moore would end the inning with a strikeout to help the Jackrabbits hold onto a 10-9 lead.
South Dakota State added an insurance run in the top of the ninth and Moore held the Thunderbirds scoreless over the final two frames to help his team come away with an 11-9 victory.
Rezac's fifth home run of the year helped the SUU slugger finish the day 3-for-5 at the plate with four RBIs and a run scored. Machbitz went 4-for-5 for the Jackrabbits with three RBIs and also scored a run.
Senior pitcher Joe Karlik (2-3) took the loss for the Thunderbirds after allowing nine runs in 62/3 innings. South Dakota State starter Adam Bray (3-3) picked up the win while giving up six scores in six innings.
Region 18 Baseball
At Taylorsville, the top seeded Bruins (43-8) won the title with a 6-5 comeback win over Western Nevada. Down three heading into the ninth inning, the Bruins rallied to score four runs and win in walk-off fashion. The Bruins will host a District Playoff next weekend at Cate Field.
Ruddy Acosta pitched seven innings, allowing five hits while Aaron Robbs picked up the win. Dominique Taylor was 3 for 5 with three RBIs and was named tournament MVP. Kennedy Kinkade was the hero of the game, hitting a two-run double in the ninth. Kinkade finished the game 2 for 5 with two RBIs.
At Las Cruces, N.M., the Cougars won the WAC title with an 8-3 win over Fresno State. Shelbi Everett, Katie Manuma and Tiffany Messerschmidt had two RBIs apiece to lead BYU.
At Salt Lake City, in her last game at Ute Field, senior third baseman Whitney Holm connected on a pair of homers, but the Utes came up short against No. 15 Stanford, 12-9.
There were four lead changes during the game as Utah (28-28, 2-22 Pac-12) pounded eight hits on the day, led by a 3-for-4 effort, four-RBI effort by Holm, who cracked her ninth and 10th homers of the year. Holm had 38 homers over her career, which stands third in school history and is fourth in school history with 133 RBIs.
In her final outing at Ute Field, senior Generra Nielson struck out six in 62/3 innings of work. She did not allow a hit through 31/3 innings to the Cardinal. Unfortunately, Nielson was credited with the loss and ended 2012 with a 21-18 record and was 42-30 for her career. She extended her school single-season strikeout record to 294 this season. Nielson finished fourth in school history with 492 strikeouts in two seasons with the Utes.
Region 18 Softball
At Taylorsville, the Bruins (55-7) claimed the title with a 10-4 win over Southern Idaho.
Salt Lake fell down early in the game with Southern Idaho striking in the first inning off a pair of SLCC errors. However the Bruins would settle down and take the lead in the fourth with a six run inning. Ariel Zimmerman got the win, going five innings striking out four; MaCauley Flint got the save, going two innings with three K's. Meagan Neilson blasted a three-run home run in the sixth inning to put Salt Lake up six with three outs remaining. Maddy Woodard finished the game 3 for 4 with three RBIs.
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