EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Freshman right-hander Jake Reed allowed two runs and five hits to steady Oregon in a 3-2 come-from-behind victory Sunday night that snapped Kent State’s 21-game winning streak and pushed the NCAA super regional to a deciding third game.
Reed (8-4) struck out six over 6 2-3 innings for the Ducks, the national No. 5 seed who faced elimination by the upstart Golden Flashes after a series-opening 7-6 loss.
George Roberts homered and had an RBI double for Kent State (45-18), which is vying for its first ever appearance in the College World Series.
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Oregon (46-18) is making its second trip to the postseason since it reinstated baseball in 2009 after a 26-year hiatus. The Ducks have been to the College World Series just once, in 1954.
The Golden Flashes came into the game riding the nation’s longest winning streak.
Oregon scored three runs in the seventh to take a 3-2 lead.
Brett Thomas’ base hit was misplayed by Kent State leftfielder Alex Miklos, allowing Ryon Healy to score and making it 2-1. After Kyle Garlick walked, Ryan Hambright’s single to right scored Thomas to tie it.
The Golden Flashes pulled starter Ryan Bores and replaced him with Michael Clark. Garlick scored the go-ahead run on Clark’s errant throw to first base after fielding Brett Hambright’s sacrifice bunt.
Roberts, the Mid-American Conference player of the year, hit a solo homer off Reed in the second inning, then added an RBI double to center in the fourth.
Oregon preserved the lead in the eighth when Jimmy Rider’s hit to deep left field was snagged by Thomas, who slammed into the wall and received a standing ovation from the crowd of 3,843 fans at PK Park.
Bores (9-3) allowed the three runs and six hits over 6 1-3 innings.
Oregon closer Jimmy Sherfy got the final two outs for the save.
The teams will meet in a deciding game on Monday afternoon. The winner of the best-of-three series advances to the College World Series.
The Golden Flashes, winners of the MAC tournament the past four years, have advanced to the postseason 12 times, but never past the regionals.
In 1954, Oregon hosted the NCAA Western Regional at Howe Field and faced Seattle and Fresno State twice to move on to the College World Series.