Oregon State rally forces final game vs. N. Carolina

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Beavers came back from a 5-0 deficit to keep their title hopes alive.

OMAHA, Neb. -- Bill Rowe's three-run homer capped Oregon State's seven-run fourth inning, and the Beavers forced a deciding game in the championship round of the College World Series with an 11-7 victory over North Carolina on Sunday night.

Oregon State (49-16) and North Carolina (54-14) will play tonight, with the winner taking home its first national title in baseball.

The Beavers are trying to become the first Pac-10 team to win the College World Series since Southern California in 1998. The Tar Heels hope to become the first Atlantic Coast Conference team to win it since Wake Forest in 1955.

Rowe went 2-for-5 with four RBIs, and closer Kevin Gunderson (3-2) pitched a season-high 5 1/3 relief innings as the Beavers erased an early five-run deficit and ended the Tar Heels' nine-game winning streak.

With Oregon State down 5-0 in the fourth, Tyler Graham drew a leadoff walk and stole third after John Wallace's single. Chris Kunda walked to load the bases, and Shea McFeely followed with a two-run double. Matt Danford (7-2) came on in relief of starter Robert Woodard and struck out Scott Santschi for the first out, but things unraveled quickly for the Tar Heels.

Darwin Barney singled past a diving Reid Fronk at third and Josh Horton at short to make it 5-3. Danford then threw a wild pitch that bounced in front of catcher Tim Federowicz, deflected off his right shin guard and into the Beavers' dugout to force in a run.

Mitch Canham drew a walk, and one out later, Rowe turned on a 2-0 pitch and sent it into the lower level of seats in right field to give Oregon State a 7-5 lead.

The scoring outburst ended a 12 2/3-inning shutout streak in Omaha by the Tar Heels' bullpen. Danford allowed six runs and four hits in 2 1/3 innings.

The Beavers took an 11-5 lead with four more runs in the sixth.

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