June 22, 2006
OMAHA -- For the second night in a row, the Rice baseball team did not have an answer for Oregon State pitching and the Owls' season has come to an end with a 2-0 loss in a semifinal elimination game of the College World Series before a Rosenblatt Stadium crowd of 19,161 and national television audience on ESPN2 Thursday evening in Omaha.
The Owls close out the 2006 season among the final three teams in the country left playing. Rice posted an eye-opening 57-13 record, the third-highest single season win total in school history. Oregon State, which has won nine of its last ten games, advances to meet North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament's final best-of-three championship series beginning on Saturday.
After a 5-0 shut out loss to the same OSU team the night before, the Owls failed to score in their last two games and their final 23-consecutive innings at the CWS dating back to Monday's 3-2 win over Miami-Fla.
The Rice senior pitching tandem of Eddie Degerman and Bryce Cox also did an impressive job of holding OSU in check to just three hits and three walks on the night. Cox was particularly effective, firing 4.1 hitless innings with a season-high six strikeouts. OSU's opposing duo of Jonah Nickerson and Kevin Gunderson scattered two hits and three walks.
Oregon State opened the scoring in the top of the second inning. Bill Rowe led off with a double down the right field line and he advanced to third on a wild pitch by Degerman. Rowe scored on a sacrifice fly by Mitch Canham for a 1-0 advantage.
In the top of the fifth, Chris Kunda and Shea McFeely led off with back-to-back singles down the left field line to put runners on second and third with no one away. The Owls got a strikeout of the number nine hitter, but a walk to the top of the order loaded the bases. Rice corralled a line drive that deflected off Degerman and turned it into a ground out, but a run scored to stretch the lead to 2-0.
The Owls had a pair of runners in the fifth with two outs but stranded both. In the seventh Joe Savery
clubbed a one-out double but the team could not rally to bring him home.
Rice went 2-2 and played a full week's worth of games at the College World Series. In four CWS games the Owls played before a total of 91,644 fans, an average of 22,916 per contest at Rosenblatt Stadium. Each of the CWS games and super regional games at Reckling Park were televised nationally by ESPN stations.