OMAHA, Neb. &
UC Irvine and Cal State-Fullerton won't have many secrets when they meet in a College World Series elimination game.
Both teams are from the Big West Conference, and Irvine coach Dave Serrano was Fullerton coach George Horton's pitching coach for eight seasons.
"One of the two of us is going home and I haven't mapped it out yet," Horton said of Monday's game at Rosenblatt Stadium. "One of us has to fly the Big West flag, but whoever gets it done will represent us well."
Oregon State (45-18) and Arizona State (49-13) will meet for the fourth time in the second game, marking the first time since 1998 two Pacific-10 teams met in Omaha.
The winner will need to win one of its next two games to advance to the championship round. The loser faces the Irvine-Fullerton winner.
The Titans (38-24) and Anteaters (45-16-1) matchup is the first time two Big West teams have met in the College World Series. Irvine took two of three from Fullerton on the road in early April.
Louisville and Rice continued piling up runs Sunday &
Louisville eliminated Mississippi State 12-4 and Rice took control of Bracket — with a 14-4 win over North Carolina.
The teams became just the fifth and sixth in CWS history to score 10 runs in each of their first two games.
Louisville (46-23) will face North Carolina (54-14) on Tuesday and the winner will play Rice (56-12) on Wednesday for a berth in the championship round. The loser is eliminated.
"We've always said you have to swing your way to Omaha," Louisville coach Dan McDonnell said. "Obviously, you have to pitch and defend. Everything counts. But you have to score runs."
Louisville's sluggers overshadowed a strong effort by freshman Justin Marks (9-2), who held Mississippi State (38-22) to two singles before he took a sharp hit to his left leg in the sixth.
The Cardinals have seven home runs, 33 hits and 22 runs in their first two games.
"It's not that our kids didn't try," Mississippi State coach Ron Polk said. "We closed the ball game down a little bit. Every time we did, it seemed like they got a two- or three-run home run. That third baseman is a hoss, boy."
That was Chris Dominguez, who hit two of his team's four home runs on Sunday, and has eight homers in the last eight games after hitting seven in his first 56.
The Cards broke to an 8-0 lead. After the Bulldogs scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth, Louisville came back with three in the seventh, highlighted by Dominguez's two-run homer to left.
"It was one of those games where you just couldn't stop them," Polk said.
Louisville recorded the first win for a CWS newcomer since Tulane in 2001, and Mississippi State went winless in Omaha for the first time in seven appearances since 1971.
North Carolina used a CWS-record eight pitchers against Rice. The Owls scored six runs in the second and never looked back, scoring in six of nine innings.
"These are kids that are not robots and they're trying as hard as they can," North Carolina coach Mike Fox said. "What can you say? We just have to run guys out there and they have to make good pitches and if they don't, we have to make good plays behind them."
Freshman starter Alex White (6-6) lasted — 1-3 innings, allowing six runs on five hits.
Each of Rice's starters had at least a hit, an RBI and scored a run, with Diego Seastrunk going 3-for-5 and Aaron Luna hitting a two-run homer in the ninth.
Joe Savery (11-1) threw six solid innings for Rice to make the lead stick. Cole St. Clair went the final three innings and picked up his ninth save.
The Owls have had a flood of runs since breaking their 25 2-3-inning CWS scoring drought, with 29 runs in their last two games.
Rice has positioned itself just as it did last year &
needing one win to go to the championship series &
but is hoping for a different ending.
"You can never say never, but I think we're ready to play," Savery said. "The teams are here for a reason and you can't take that for granted."
Rice beat Georgia and Miami in the first two games last year before losing twice to Oregon State, the team that went on to win the national championship.
The Beavers were swept at home by Arizona State earlier this year, and outscored 15-4 in those three games.
But Oregon State is playing well again after squeaking into the NCAA tournament, overcoming a loss in the regional and waiting until the last out in the first game of the super regional to get its first hit.
The team that ASU coach Pat Murphy has called the greatest story in modern-day college baseball has allowed three runs or fewer in seven wins in this tournament, and has won seven of its last eight CWS games.
But the Sun Devils have lost just once in 16 games since May 11, and have what OSU coach Pat Casey calls the best lineup he's ever seen, with no starter hitting under .300 and just one under .333.
AP Sports Writer Eric Olson contributed to this report.
Beavers set to chew on Arizona State
OMAHA, Neb. &