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The Bruins brought a .248 season batting average into the finals, and a .182 average through their first three CWS games.
They eked out enough offense to win again. In the first three innings, they had batters reach on a dropped third strike, infield single, two hit batsmen and a throwing error.
But there were big hits, too.
Filia, who came in 1 for 9 in the CWS, doubled after Kevin Kramer struck out but reached because strike three was in the dirt. Pat Valaika's single to center drove in Kramer for a 1-0 lead.
"First baserunner of the game kind of spells it out," Bulldogs coach John Cohen said. "I really wish that kid hadn't swung at that pitch. I'm not saying it to be a smart aleck, but that kid doesn't swing at that pitch, it lands in front of the plate, I think the ballgame could be different. But crazy things happen in sports."
The Bruins added two more in the fourth. Brenton Allen singled and Brian Carroll reached when he bunted and catcher Ammirati made a bad throw to first.
Carroll ran into the Bulldogs' 6-foot-5, 272-pound first baseman Wes Rea while running through the bag. Rea stayed down after the knee-to-knee contact but was able to keep playing after an athletic trainer attended to him. Allen and Carroll came home on Filia's base hit to right.
Alex Detz and Brett Pirtle produced Mississippi State's first and second hits against Plutko with one out in the fourth. Rea was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
That got the "Maroon and White" chant started as Bradford came up to face Plutko. Bradford fouled off three straight pitches before the count ran full. Plutko walked him with a high changeup, scoring Detz. Plutko's 30-pitch inning ended when Trey Porter lined out.
Plutko had to endure more stress in the fifth. Filia made his big catch on Ammirati, and Demarcus Henderson reached when Plutko misplayed a comebacker, and moved to second on a balk. The inning ended with Detz's line out to second.
Freshman reliever James Kaprielian came on in the seventh with a man on and none out. After he walked Ammirati, Henderson, the team leader in sacrifice bunts, fouled off two bunt tries and then grounded to second for the first of UCLA's two double plays.
"Not much to get excited about," Savage said. "It comes down to tomorrow."
|Fla Gulf Coast||60|
|William & Mary||75||FINAL|
|South Dakota St||71|
|Mount St Marys||75|
|(18) Oklahoma St||61||FINAL|
|(7) West Virginia||67|
|(2) Notre Dame||69|