EUGENE, Ore. -- 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, lifting Kent State to a 3-2 win Monday night over Oregon and sending the Golden Flashes to their first College World Series.
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.
Derek Toadvine scored from second base before Thomas could make a throw, making Kent State (46-18) the first team from the Mid-American Athletic Conference since Eastern Michigan in 1976 to advance past the NCAA super regional and book a trip to Omaha.
Trailing 2-0, the Ducks (46-19) tied it in the eighth inning on a single through a hole in the right side of the infield by Ryon Healy that scored Altobelli and Aaron Payne.
Healy's hit was just the fourth -- and last -- hit of the game for Oregon.
Kent State went ahead early, scoring two runs on six hits against Oregon starter Jeff Gold, who didn't make it out of the second inning.
The Golden Flashes scored once in the first on a lined single by T.J. Sutton and then again in the second on a bases-loaded double-play grounder by Evan Campbell.
Stony Brook celebrates
STONY BROOK, N.Y. -- Their motto is "shock the world." So far, so good for the Stony Brook Seawolves.
Stony Brook, which began playing a Division I schedule only in 2000, is headed to the College World Series after pulling off a stunning upset of perennial powerhouse LSU before 10,000 Tigers supporters in Baton Rouge, La.
The Seawolves, who won the last two games of a best-of-three series from LSU, including a 7-2 clincher Sunday night, are the first team from New York state to reach the College World Series since 1980 and the first team from the Northeast since Maine in 1986.
But before heading to Omaha, Neb., where they take on UCLA on Friday, the Seawolves received a heroes' welcome Monday on their campus 60 miles east of New York City. The crowd included mostly university staff and a smattering of students since the university is on a summer vacation.
"It's unbelievable," said first baseman and outfielder Kevin Courtney of Lindenhurst, N.Y. "This is really unexpected. We had friends and family come and support us at the airport, and then we came back here and see all these people. It's tremendous support. It's really what keeps us motivated and going."
Stony Brook coach Matt Senk, who was hired in 1991 to lead the then-Division III team, said the brief respite at home will benefit his players who have been on the road for two weeks, first competing in regional competition in Miami before advancing to Baton Rouge.
"It will be nice to get back here and take it easy for a day and a half and then get back to business," he said.
Pitcher Frankie Vanderka, threw a complete-game three-hitter in the series clincher."