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MailTribune.com
  • Ducks rally past Kent State, even series

  • EUGENE — The game-winning sacrifice bunt was nothing. The real pressure for Brett Hambright are two looming final exams.
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  • EUGENE — The game-winning sacrifice bunt was nothing. The real pressure for Brett Hambright are two looming final exams.
    Hambright's bunt scored Kyle Garlick in the seventh inning in Oregon's come-from-behind 3-2 victory in the super regional Sunday night that snapped Kent State's 21-game winning streak.
    Hambright will have two finals this morning before the Ducks face the Golden Flashes in the deciding game of their best-of-three series. The winner will advance to the College World Series.
    "Once I saw Kyle running down the line, I was happy," said Hambright, who reached on his bunt after Kent State reliever Michael Clark made an errant throw to first.
    Jake Reed (8-4) allowed two runs and five hits and struck out six over 6 2-3 innings for the Ducks, a national No. 5 seed who faced elimination by the upstart Golden Flashes after a series-opening 7-6 loss.
    George Roberts homered and had an RBI double for Kent State (45-18), which is vying for its first ever appearance in the College World Series.
    Oregon (46-18) is making its second trip to the postseason since it reinstated baseball in 2009 after a 26-year hiatus. The Ducks have been to the College World Series just once, in 1954.
    "Guys have to take a couple of finals and get A's on them, then play a good game and hopefully look up to the scoreboard and make some travel plans," Oregon coach George Horton said.
    The Golden Flashes came into the game riding the nation's longest winning streak, but Oregon rallied in the seventh and the Ducks held on to bring the run to an end.
    Brett Thomas' base hit was misplayed by Kent State leftfielder Alex Miklos, allowing Ryon Healy to score and make it 2-1. After Garlick walked, Ryan Hambright's single to right scored Thomas to tie it.
    The Golden Flashes pulled starter Ryan Bores and replaced him with Clark.
    Roberts, the Mid-American Conference player of the year, hit a solo homer in the second inning, then added an RBI double to center in the fourth.
    "I thought we had some momentum going. But they shut us down," he said, referring to the Ducks' bullpen.
    After Roberts' RBI double, Horton visited Reed on the mound. But when asked later what was discussed, Reed replied "I don't really remember much what he said," and Horton threw up his hands, shaking his head.
    Oregon preserved the lead in the eighth when Jimmy Rider's shot to deep left field was snagged by Thomas, who slammed into the wall and received a standing ovation from the crowd of 3,843 fans at PK Park.
    Bores (9-3) allowed the three runs and six hits over 6 1-3 innings.
    Oregon closer Jimmy Sherfy got the final two outs for his 19th save.
    "This is the side of one-run games we enjoy more," Horton said.
    The Golden Flashes, winners of the MAC tournament the past four years, have advanced to the postseason 12 times, but never past the regionals.
    In 1954, Oregon hosted the NCAA Western Regional at Howe Field and faced Seattle and Fresno State twice to move on to the College World Series.
    AP-WF-06-11-12 0617GMT
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