April 18, 2014

CWS: Pitching keys UCLA’s first national championship in baseball

The UCLA Bruins celebrate their national championship, Tuesday night in Omaha.

The UCLA Bruins celebrate their national championship, Tuesday night in Omaha.

109 national championships as a school…first in baseball. UCLA shutout Mississippi State 8-0 to win its first NCAA baseball championship at the College World Series in Omaha.

Starter Nick Vander Tuig (14-4) gave up five hits and had six strikeouts in eight innings and closer Eric Berg pitched a scoreless ninth in his NCAA-record 51st appearance of the season. Eric Filia drove in five runs to lead the Bruins at the plate.

The 19 runs allowed by UCLA (47-17) are the lowest total in tournament history in the metal-bat era (since 1974).


CWS: Top seeded Tar Heels roll

CWS-4North Carolina’s Hobbs Johnson combined with Chris McCue on a five-hitter and the Tar Heels stayed alive in the College World Series with a 7-0 victory against NC State on Thursday night. Johnson allowed five singles, walked two and struck out six before leaving with one out in the ninth.

Michael Russell drove in three runs for the No. 1-seeded Tar Heels who improve to 59-11 on the season. Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year Colin Moran had three singles, reached base four times and drove in two runs for Carolina.

No easy task coming up for the Tar Heels. UNC must beat UCLA twice – first on Friday and again Saturday – to reach the finals. NC State (50-16), in the CWS for the first time since 1968, was shut out for the first time this season.


CWS: Big Ten champs knocked out

CWS-5Matt Boyd pitched a four-hitter and struck out 11 for Oregon State who got a fourth-inning sacrifice fly to hold up for a 1-0 victory against Indiana in the College World Series on Wednesday night in Omaha. The Beavers (52-12) won the first 1-0 game at the CWS since 1985.

ORS will now face Mississippi State on Friday, needing to beat the Bulldogs twice to reach next week’s finals.   Boyd pitched his fourth complete game and third shutout this season. The Beavers scored in the fourth when Kavin Keyes singled, went to third on Ryan Barnes’ double and came home on Jake Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly to right.

Big Ten champion Indiana was the first team from the conference to make it to the CWS since Michigan in 1984.  The Hoosiers (49-16) went 1-2 in their first CWS appearance.

CWS: Top-seeded UNC fights off elimination

CWS-3North Carolina junior Brian Holberton blasted a first-inning, two-run homer to jump start the Tar Heels to a 4-2 victory against LSU as the Tar Heels staved off elimination in the College World Series. It was Holberton’s second in this year’s NCAA tournament. His first came in an elimination game when the Tar Heels topped South Carolina in the NCAA Super Regional on June 11th. Holberton now has 58 RBI and 15 multi-RBI games this year.

Holberton added a single in the third inning to up his hit total to 15 for the NCAA tournament as well as a sacrifice bunt in the seventh inning helped manufacture UNC’s fourth run of the contest. He is batting .441 (15-for-34) with nine RBI in nine NCAA postseason games.

UNC starter Trent Thornton has been North Carolina’s primary closer this season, but he dominated LSU lineup. In his first start since March 27, Thornton went a career-high seven plus innings, allowing nine hits and two runs. Thornton improved to 12-1 this season, which sets the UNC record for wins by a freshman.


CWS: Pitching leads UCLA to victory once again

Nick Vander Tuig scattered four hits during seven-plus innings and UCLA produced just enough offense to defeat NC State 2-1 in the College World Series on Tuesday night.  Vander Tuig (13-4) retired 13 of 14 batters heading into the eighth inning. David Berg came on after Vander Tuig gave up a leadoff single to Bryan Adametz. Berg worked out of trouble in the eighth and earned his NCAA record-tying 23rd save.

UCLA opened the CWS with a 2-1 victory against LSU and now is 17-2 in one-run games.  UCLA manufactured runs on two walks, two singles and a wild pitch to scratch out a couple runs and go up 2-1 in the fifth. NC State starter Logan Jernigan (1-1) took the loss.

UCLA (46-17) moved within one victory of next week’s best-of-three finals. The Wolfpack (50-15) will play an elimination game against North Carolina on Thursday.