Oregon had no baseball team just a few years ago. The Ducks are now one of the best programs in the country.
Jake Reed pitched seven scoreless innings as Oregon beat Austin Peay 8-1 on Sunday night and advanced out of the NCAA regionals for the first time since 1954.
Brett Thomas had three RBIs for Oregon (45-17), which reinstated baseball in 2009 after the university eliminated the sport in 1981. The Ducks will play Kent State at home next weekend in the super regionals.
"Obviously, we're very proud and excited to bring a regional title back to Oregon," said coach George Horton, who left a perennial College World Series team at Cal State Fullerton to revive the program five years ago. "This is why I came here."
Oregon went 3-0 at the regional this weekend and Sunday got its second victory against the Governors (40-24).
The Ducks needed two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat Austin Peay 6-5 Friday night. No comeback was necessary this time.
Reed (7-4), Oregon's No. 2 starter, was brilliant from the start. The freshman allowed just two hits over seven innings with a career-high eight strikeouts.
"It was a big deal for us to get this done in three (games)," Reed said. "That was right there in the back of my mind."
Joey Housey finished off the win with two innings of one-hit relief.
Oregon's offense backed Reed up with some early run production. The Ducks went up 1-0 in the first, scoring on a fielder's choice by Thomas. They added two more in the third on a single by Thomas and sacrifice fly by Kyle Garlick.
Oregon, masterful at manufacturing runs all weekend, extended its lead in the fourth on a squeeze bunt, sac fly and RBI single to go up 6-0.
"It definitely helps you out to get that run support," Reed said. "That's what we've been able to do all season long."
Brett Hambright added a two-run homer in the seventh to make it 8-0.
Greg Bachman had two of the Governors' three hits, including a double to lead off the ninth inning. He eventually scored on a fielding error by Oregon second baseman Aaron Payne.
Starter Kacy Kemmer (2-1) lasted just two innings, and the Governors used seven pitchers. Austin Peay needed a 3-0 win against Cal State Fullerton earlier Sunday to advance to the game against Oregon.
"The guys gave us a chance to get it down to one game, but we just didn't have enough," Austin Peay coach Gary McClure said. "But we ran into a guy who threw the ball really well."
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)