Ducks stay alive with rout of Rice

Same two teams square off again today with Eugene Regional title on the line

EUGENE — Ryon Healy had two doubles and a home run to lead Oregon's 15-hit attack and the Ducks staved off elimination for the second time on Sunday with an 11-0 victory against Rice in the NCAA Eugene Regional.

Eighth-seeded Oregon will face the Owls again tonight in the championship game with a spot in the super regionals on the line.

The Ducks, who also beat San Francisco 6-1 on Sunday, lost to Rice on Saturday 1-0 to move into the loser's side of the double-elimination tournament.

"Long day, but it does make it a little shorter that we still have one more play," Oregon coach George Horton said. "I'm sure Rice will get off the deck. Both teams are very prideful."

Healy went 4-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs for the Ducks (48-15), who torched five different Rice (43-18) pitchers for eight extra-base hits.

"I have no idea where all that production came from," Horton said. "Hitting's contagious."

Healy got things going for Oregon with his 11th homer of the year in the first inning to put the Ducks up 1-0. Oregon scored three more in the fourth on an RBI single by Scott Heineman, a sacrifice bunt by Shaun Chase and a double by Connor Hofmann.

The Ducks went up 6-0 in the fifth following and RBI triple by Tyler Baumgartner and the first of Healy's two doubles. They tacked on four more runs in the seventh and another in the eighth.

"We just didn't make enough good pitches to go with the bad ones," Rice coach Wayne Graham, who added that he had no doubt his team would bounceback for Monday's game. "If you're an athlete, you're resilient."

Oregon's Jeff Gold (4-0, 2.50), in his first start since April 30 against Seattle, pitched five innings, struck out four and allowed just two hits and no walks. Darrell Hunter followed with three innings of no-hit relief, and Jordan Spencer allowed one hit before finishing off the shutout in the ninth.

After allowing a leadoff home run to San Francisco's Justin Maffei in the opener Sunday, Oregon's pitchers went 17 innings without giving up another run.

Heineman also went 2-for-4 with three RBIs.


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