Rice, Miami and Georgia clinch CWS berths

Updated: June 12, 2006, 11:14 PM ET
Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Josh Rodriguez homered and drove in five runs Monday, helping rally Rice to a 9-5 win over Oklahoma and a berth in the College World Series.

The Owls (55-11) took the deciding game of the best-of-three Super Regional series and will return to Omaha, Neb., for the first time since winning the national title in 2003.

The Owls turned a 4-3 deficit into an 8-4 lead in the sixth inning. Rodriguez, who had a two-run homer in the first, put Rice ahead 5-4 with a bases-loaded single, and Joe Savery followed with a three-run home run.

Rodriguez's sacrifice fly in the seventh scored Rice's final run.

The Sooners (45-22) were looking to win an elimination game for the sixth time in this year's NCAA tournament.

Cole St. Clair (6-2) picked up the win in relief, allowing five hits and three runs with three strikeouts and no walks in 5 1/3 innings. John Brownell (5-1) lost.

Rodriguez's opposite-field home run to right with two outs in the bottom of the first tied the score.

Around the nation

Miami 14, Mississippi 9
OXFORD, Miss. -- Danny Valencia's second home run of the game, a grand slam in the seventh inning, helped Miami beat Mississippi and claim a spot in the College World Series.

Valencia had seven RBIs to help the Hurricanes (41-22) clinch their 22nd berth in Omaha and third in four years.

Miami denied the Rebels (44-22) their first trip to the CWS since 1972, and will play Oregon State on Saturday.

Valencia's homer off closer Garrett White gave the Hurricanes a 13-8 lead and came two batters after the 'Canes took the lead for good when Roger Tomas came around to score on Tommy Giles' tiebreaking single.

Valencia hit a two-run homer in the first to give the Hurricanes a 3-0 lead, then had a run-scoring sacrifice fly in the sixth.

Chris Perez (4-1) struck out five in five innings of relief for Miami. White (3-1) allowed six runs and five hits in 2 2-3 innings.

Georgia 11, South Carolina 6
ATHENS, Ga. -- Bobby Felmy homered and tripled in a seven-run seventh inning and Georgia once again came back from the brink of elimination and beat South Carolina 11-6 to advance to the College World Series.

South Carolina (41-25) won the first game 15-6 on Saturday. Georgia (47-21) which won its regional last week from the losers bracket, evened the series on Sunday with an 11-5 win.

Georgia took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on RBI singles by Joey Side and Josh Morris. Side's hit was his 109th of the season, a new single-season record at Georgia, breaking Chaz Lytle's record set in 2002.

The Bulldog lead was short-lived. South Carolina shortstop Reese Havens led off the bottom of the third with a solo homer. Chris Brown then doubled and scored an out later on Justin Smoak's double. Smoak scored when shortstop Gordon Beckham threw wide of first on what would have been the third out, putting the Gamecocks ahead 3-2.

Trevor Holder (5-3) picked up the win in relief.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press