UCLA can wrap up 1st title at College World Series, but doesn't expect Bulldogs to back down

  • Article by: ERIC OLSON , AP Sports Writer
  • Updated: June 25, 2013 - 3:35 AM

OMAHA, Neb. — UCLA is one win away from its first national championship in baseball. If Game 1 of the College World Series finals was an indicator, it won't be won easily.

The Bruins defeated Mississippi State 3-1 on Monday night, but the Bulldogs pressured them to the end, leaving runners in scoring position in four of the last six innings.

"They're great hitters, they grind it out every at-bat, and they're not going away," UCLA closer David Berg said. "They want to win this thing as bad as we do. They're not going to give it up."

UCLA (48-17) will send Nick Vander Tuig (13-4) to the mound for Game 2 on Tuesday night. Mississippi State (51-19) will start either Ben Bracewell (1-1) or Will Cox (3-1).

"What we're going to try to do is put everything behind us and try to win two ball games," Bulldogs coach John Cohen said. "I think we're very, very capable."

UCLA followed its script yet again Monday, churning out a few early runs and letting its pitching and defense take care of the rest.

"We dodged some bullets, no doubt about it, but you have to give credit to our defense," UCLA coach John Savage said. "Kind of a Bruin game. Tight game, and at the end of the night we were fortunate to come out with the win."

Bulldogs second baseman Brett Pirtle said he and his teammates can't give the Bruins any openings because they're so capable of capitalizing on them.

"Nobody that's extra special," Pirtle said of the Bruins. "They're just small ball. They bunt and put pressure on the defense, and that's what helped them out, and that's the kind of ballclub they are. So keeping runners off base and just catching the ball and putting pressure on them will help us win the game (Tuesday)."

Adam Plutko limited the Bulldogs to a run on four hits in six innings and was helped by his defense. Eric Filia made a catch close to the wall against Nick Ammirati and hauled in a liner off the bat of Trey Porter with the bases loaded. Cody Regis made a couple diving stops and also started both of UCLA's double plays.

The Bruins made it 3-0 in the fourth on Filia's two-out, two-run single off Chad Girodo, who replaced starter Trevor Fitts (0-1) in the second. That was the last of the Bruins' six hits.

Mississippi State's fans started the "Maroon and White" chant in the bottom of the ninth after C.T. Bradford and pinch-hitter Sam Frost singled to put runners on first and second with one out against Berg.

Ammirati flew out, and pinch-hitter Jacob Robson ended the game with his comebacker to Berg, who sprinted toward first base before under-handing the ball to Pat Gallagher.

Berg, making his 50th appearance of the season, earned his NCAA-record 24th save for 1 2-3 innings of work.

"Records are meant to be broken, but titles are what matter," Berg said. "So if we all win a national championship, I'll enjoy that. But right now I don't think about it at all."

The loss spoiled a splendid performance by Girodo, who pitched the last 7 2-3 innings in relief of Fitts. He allowed three hits, walked two and struck out nine. Both runs against him were unearned.

Plutko (10-3) walked in Mississippi State's only run in the fourth.

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."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Detroit 55 4th Qtr
Philadelphia 68
Portland 74 4th Qtr
Cleveland 79
Sacramento 54 3rd Qtr
Toronto 54
Boston 33 2nd Qtr 6:25
Minnesota 40
Dallas 29 2nd Qtr 9:02
Houston 33
Denver 36 2nd Qtr 8:04
New Orleans 23
Brooklyn 39 2nd Qtr 8:32
Atlanta 37
Oklahoma City 27 2nd Qtr 8:18
New York 24
Charlotte 6 1st Qtr 8:31
San Antonio 7
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
Washington 9:30 PM
Toronto 0 2nd Prd 13:22
New Jersey 0
Pittsburgh 0 1st Prd 2:23
Washington 1
Chicago 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Temple 77 2nd Half 3:45
UCF 47
Winthrop 62 2nd Half 3:39
Coastal Carolina 61
Lafayette 55 2nd Half 0:10
Colgate 52
Northeastern 45 2nd Half 1:40
Drexel 51
Wake Forest 53 2nd Half 7:49
Florida State 52
Rhode Island 49 2nd Half 8:03
Fordham 50
Delaware 77 2nd Half 0:34
James Madison 80
South Carolina 56 2nd Half 3:55
LSU 52
New Hampshire 51 2nd Half 3:56
Maine 39
Seton Hall 71 2nd Half 4:20
Marquette 57
Binghamton 58 2nd Half 3:04
American Univ 48 2nd Half 1:41
Navy 62
Elon 53 2nd Half 6:07
UNC-Wilmington 79
Wright State 52 2nd Half 4:04
Oakland 50
Minnesota 52 2nd Half 3:38
Penn State 56
Duquesne 48 2nd Half 4:50
Richmond 74
SMU 56 2nd Half 3:28
South Florida 49
Hartford 49 2nd Half 5:57
Stony Brook 55
Albany 43 2nd Half 1:00
Vermont 39
Hofstra 65 2nd Half 5:%2
William & Mary 79
UNC-Asheville 63 2nd Half 6:53
Longwood 49
Radford 45 2nd Half
Char Southern 35
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 54 2nd Half 15:01
Notre Dame 51
Texas Tech 17 2nd Half 14:52
Oklahoma 53
Oregon State 20 1st Half 1:48
Arizona State 38
Morehead State 29 1st Half 1:38
Austin Peay 33
Drake 38 1st Half 2:13
Bradley 26
Lehigh 22 1st Half 3:56
Bucknell 15
Rice 17 1st Half 1:30
Houston 20
Missouri State 19 1st Half 3:10
Illinois State 22
Loyola-Chicago 16 1st Half 4:30
Wichita State 19
Nebraska Omaha 28 1st Half 4:11
South Dakota St 33
Northern Iowa 21 1st Half 1:41
Southern Ill 24
Louisville 8:00 PM
Boston College
St Johns 8:00 PM
East Carolina 8:00 PM
Georgia Tech 8:00 PM
Miss State 8:00 PM
Ole Miss
Clemson 8:00 PM
NC State
Indiana 8:00 PM
Kansas 8:00 PM
Oregon 9:00 PM
Air Force 9:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 10:00 PM
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
Bucknell 61 FINAL
Lehigh 76
Indiana 57 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Fordham 66 FINAL
Davidson 45
UMBC 61 2nd Half 5:15
Binghamton 48
Akron 53 2nd Half 5:19
Ohio U 60
Ball State 71 2nd Half 3:25
Miami-Ohio 51
Memphis 54 2nd Half 0:56
Cincinnati 44
East Carolina 27 2nd Half 6:51
(2) Connecticut 71
Murray State 57 2nd Half 0:48
Eastern Illinois 73
Kent State 62 2nd Half 0:01
Central Michigan 65
UT Martin 64 2nd Half 1:05
Tennessee St 56
Eastern Michigan 50 2nd Half 4:05
Western Mich 79
Colgate 56 2nd Half 0:08
Lafayette 58
Duquesne 74 2nd Half 1:00
St Bonaventure 61
George Mason 49 2nd Half 5:57
VA Commonwealth 58
Detroit 55 2nd Half 0:49
Youngstown St 53
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 29 1st Half 1:58
Tulsa 28
Oklahoma St 15 1st Half 3:58
Kansas State 18
West Virginia 23 1st Half 2:01
Texas Tech 27
Denver 37 1st Half 3:15
South Dakota 35
Northwestern St 21 1st Half 0:34
Central Arkansas 26
Austin Peay 28 1st Half 1:18
SIU-Edwardsville 44
Kansas 18 1st Half 4:08
Iowa State 17
Bowling Green 12 1st Half 4:27
Northern Ill 27
Penn State 27 1st Half 3:46
Minnesota 27
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Boise State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Utah State 8:00 PM
San Diego State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Nevada 9:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Do you favor the plan for expanded athletic facilities at the U of M?

Weekly Question