OMAHA, Neb. - Chris Kolkhorst scored from second base on Stanford pitcher Kodiak Quick's throwing error, giving Rice a 4-3 victory in 10 innings Saturday night in the first game of the College World Series championship round.
"I really didn't know what happened," Kolkhorst said. "I crossed the plate, guys were coming out of the dugout, and I saw the first baseman on the ground. I don't know who I asked, but I asked someone, "Did we win?"'
The answer was a resounding yes.
Cardinal starter Ryan McCally pitched into the 10th and issued a leadoff walk to Kolkhorst, who moved to second on Dane Bubela's sacrifice. Quick came on and struck out Vincent Sinisi, but Austin Davis hit a soft grounder that the reliever picked up to the left of the mound.
Quick's hurried throw sailed past first baseman Brian Hall, who collided with Davis and was flat on his back as Kolkhorst scored the winning run. Hall was not seriously injured.
It was the second straight walkoff victory for the Owls. They advanced to the championship series with a 5-4 win over Texas on Justin Ruchti's hit in the bottom of the ninth against ace reliever Huston Street.
"It's funny that the things that are the most fun sometimes are the most stressful," Rice coach Wayne Graham said.
The teams meet in the second game of the best-of-three series today, with the Owls (57-11) trying to claim the school's first national title in any sport. Stanford (50-17) must win to keep alive its hopes of winning its first CWS title since 1988.
Rice's Jeff Niemann, bidding to become the first unbeaten 18-game winner in Division I, didn't get a decision.
He gave up three runs - two earned - in the first, but shut out the Cardinal on three hits before David Aardsma (7-3) relieved in the ninth. Aardsma allowed one hit and struck out one in two innings.
ACC EXPANSION: Atlantic Coast Conference leaders met again by teleconference and said they moved closer to the completion of their expansion process.
"Consideration and clarification of a number of institutional questions were the focus of the meeting," the league said in a statement.
"The meeting was positive and the Council (of Presidents) made progress that will enable it to reach its goal of concluding this process by the end of the month."
Last month, the ACC targeted Miami, Syracuse and Boston College for expansion. The plan seemed likely to sail through the approval process before Virginia Tech and four other Big East football schools filed suit against the ACC, Miami and Boston College.
FLORIDA STATE: Sophomore pole vaulter Lacy Janson was taken to a hospital and later released after falling while attempting a vault at the U.S. track and field championships in Stanford, Calif.
FLORIDA: Moise Joseph advanced to today's 800-meter finals at the U.S. track and field championships. Hurdlers Dwight Ruff, Rickey Harris and Josh Walker advanced to the semifinals.
TULSA: Starting quarterback Tyler Gooch will transfer to Oklahoma to pursue a baseball career. The Golden Hurricane does not have a baseball program.
MOVING UP: Winston-Salem State University, an original member of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, is exploring moving to the NCAA's Division I and to another conference.