Robert Woodard got it right this time.
Coming off the shortest start of his career five days ago, Woodard shut down Rice for six-plus innings and North Carolina stayed in the College World Series with a 6-1 victory yesterday in Omaha.
"There are a lot of good players who probably don't have the heart and pride in his performance that Robert Woodard has," Tar Heels coach Mike Fox said. "So today didn't surprise me or any of his teammates with how he came back and pitched after a rough outing the first time out."
Rice had 29 runs and 33 hits in its first two CWS games, one of which was a 14-4 victory over the Tar Heels Sunday.
Woodard and two relievers limited the Owls to one run on six singles and a double yesterday, and Dustin Ackley broke open the game with a three-run homer to help the Tar Heels force another meeting with Rice tonight.
Woodard (11-2) allowed five hits and one earned run in 6 2/3 innings.
Rice (56-13), at No. 2, and 2006 national runner-up North Carolina (56-14), at No. 3, are the only remaining national seeds in the tournament.
"They're the No. 3 team in the nation, so beating us twice in a row wouldn't be an upset," Rice's Joe Savery said. "At this point, you can't look at it as underdogs or that sort of thing. We just have to go win. As much as we want to talk about experience that benefits us, they have at least equal experience, and they made it a step farther last year."
Oregon St. 7, UC Irvine 1 -- Daniel Turpen allowed five hits over eight innings and the defending champion Beavers (47-18) advanced to the championship series starting Saturday.
Mitch Canham hit a two-run homer, Darwin Barney had two RBI singles, and John Wallace added a run-scoring triple.