Oregon's season ends in the bottom of the ninth

A drama-filled bloop single scores the winning run for Kent State
June 11, 2012
Jake Reed.
Photo courtesy University of Oregon.

EUGENE –With its season on the line, the University of Oregon baseball team fell just a few feet short of reaching the College World Series for the first time in six decades Monday night at PK Park.

By scoring in the bottom of the ninth, Kent State earned its first berth in the CWS with a 3-2 win over Oregon in the deciding game of the best-of-three series over the Ducks.

Jimmy Rider drove in the winning run with a shallow pop fly that landed just inside the left-field foul line in the bottom of the ninth to score Derek Toadvine from second to make the Golden Flashes the first team from the Mid-American Conference since 1976 to qualify for the CWS.

Oregon finished its season at 46-19 in the third year since the program was restarted. Oregon last reached the CWS in 1954.

Rider's hit off Oregon closer Jimmie Sherfy fell just out of the reach of shortstop J.J. Altobelli and left fielder Brett Thomas, who appeared to lose track of the ball when it was hit.



Jake Reed battled back after allowing two early runs, and so did the rest of the teammates as No. 10 Oregon kept its College World Series hopes alive with a 3-2 victory at PK Park on Sunday night.

With the Super Regional series even at one game apiece, the rubber game that will determine which club travels to Omaha is unofficially scheduled for 4 p.m. PT on Monday at PK Park. An announcement of the official game time will be released Monday morning.

Reed (8-4) helped Oregon halt Kent State’s 21-game win streak by holding the Golden Flashes (45-18) to two runs on five hits and two walks, while fanning six in six and 2/3 innings. After surrendering a run in the fourth, the La Mesa, Calif., native retired nine consecutive batters until giving up a two-out single to Derek Toadvine in the bottom of the seventh.

The Ducks (46-18) trailed 2-0 entering seventh, but Oregon finally put the pressure on Kent State starter Ryan Bores, as a wild inning allowed UO to turn a two-run deficit into a one-run, 3-2, advantage.

Ryon Healy started the rally with his second hit of the game, roping a single into center field. Brett Thomas followed with a single into left field that troubled Kent State’s Alex Miklos, allowing Healy to score and Thomas to move to second. With a runner in scoring position, Kyle Garlick was walked, but Ryan Hambright delivered a game-tying RBI single that found a hole through the right side.

With runners on the corners and just one out, Kent State elected to go to its bullpen, and brought Michael Kent to the mound. With Brett Hambright at the plate, Oregon orchestrated the squeeze as the bunt down proved problematic, allowing Garlick to score the go-ahead run.