NCAA baseball: Upset-minded Rice ousts Oregon

2013-06-04T00:00:00Z NCAA baseball: Upset-minded Rice ousts OregonThe Associated Press The Associated Press
June 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 

EUGENE, Ore. - Freshman catcher Hunter Kopycinski had four hits and four RBIs and Rice scored seven runs in the first three innings in the Owls' 11-4 victory Monday night to win the NCAA tournament's Eugene Regional.

Rice (44-18) advances to its first super regional since 2009 with the upset of the No. 8-seeded Ducks (48-16) and will play at North Carolina State next.

"Definitely a cloud nine feeling right now," said Kopycinski, who made his first start of the postseason and led the Owls' 15-hit attack.

Playing for the fourth time in as many days, the Owls gave Zech Lemond his first start of the season and the sophomore closer delivered with an eight-hit, four-run performance over 6 2/3 innings that included seven strikeouts and one walk.

Lemond said he was "caught off guard" when told Monday morning he would be starting, "but the emotions never really got to me. I just had to throw strikes."

Rice took a 3-0 lead in the first when Shane Hoelscher drove in two with a triple off Oregon starter Jake Reed and then scored on an error. The Ducks added two in the the first on an RBI single by Mitchell Toelman and a fielder's choice. But the Owls came back with two in the second and two in the third to go up 7-2.

• North Carolina 12, Florida Atlantic 11: In Chapel Hill, N.C., Cody Stubbs singled with the bases loaded in the 13th inning to help No. 1 overall seed North Carolina avoid a huge upset and advance to host South Carolina next.

• South Carolina 6, Liberty 4: In Columbia, S.C., L.B. Dantzler drove in two runs as South Carolina overcame a 16-hour wait to capture the Columbia Regional, the Gamecocks' 27th straight NCAA tournament win at home.

• Vanderbilt 7, Georgia Tech 1: In Nashville, Tenn., Philip Pfeifer threw five scoreless innings and Xavier Turner drove in three runs as No. 2 overall seed Vanderbilt advanced to face Louisiville.

• Mississippi State 6, Central Arkansas 1: In Starville, Miss., Hunter Renfroe had three hits and two RBIs as Mississippi State advanced to face Virginia.

• Cal State Fullerton 6, ASU 1: In Fullerton, Calif., Thomas Eshelman pitched eight dominant innings and Cal State Fullerton beat Arizona State late Sunday to advance to face UCLA.

ASU had won 16 straight regional games entering the weekend, but went 2-2 at Fullerton. ASU hit just .154 in the regional.

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