Henry Hunt battled hard for South Australia but the Redbacks will do well to dodge a winless Sheffield Shield season after Victoria took control of their final-round clash.
At stumps on day three at Junction Oval, the Redbacks were 5-151 in their second innings with Hunt (73) and Jake Lehmann (8) the not out batsmen.
It gave them an overall lead of 119.
Already assured of last spot for the fourth-consecutive season, hopes had been high that SA could push for a win when the Bushrangers resumed 132 runs behind on Monday.
But from 7-201, the tail wagged for the home side as Sam Harper (106 not out) scored the only ton of the game and lifted Victoria to 365 all out.
Daniel Worrall and Sam Kerber each had three wickets but there were few smiles for SA after ceding a 32-run lead.
Things only got worse as the Redbacks top order imploded with Jake Weatherald and Liam Scott both falling for two to leave them at 2-5.
When regular mainstay Travis Head (16) and Test wicketkeeper-in-waiting Alex Carey (12) were both dismissed by Jon Holland (2-34), the Redbacks were 4-52 and in a world of bother.
Hunt then dropped anchor to give his side some hope of setting a defendable target on the final day.
Mitchell Perry (1-38), Scott Boland (1-17) and Will Sutherland (1-31) were the other wicket takers.