A defiant century by veteran Bushranger Cameron White lifted struggling Shield champions Victoria back into the contest in the must-win match.
But South Australia will enter the final day at 5-208, boasting a lead of 216 runs.
Victoria was bowled out for 371 during Saturday's middle session, just eight runs shy of SA's first innings score.
It could have been much worse for the Bushrangers after they lost Seb Gotch in the first over of the day to be 6-248.
White however batted confidently to score his 21st first class century before he was eventually the last wicket to fall for 149 in a 218-ball knock that included four sixes.
Debutant medium-pacer Nick Winter starred for SA with the ball snaring 5-85 from 27 overs.
South Australia commenced their second innings aggressively in an attempt to force a result.
Jake Weatherald led the way with 62 but his dismissal left SA at a worrying 5-134.
Alex Ross (48 not out) and debutant wicketkeeper Harry Nielsen (20 not out) steadied the ship in the final hour with an unbeaten stand of 72.