College baseball World Series: UCLA tops No. 1-seeded UNC
Omaha, Neb. • Pat Valaika's two-run double gave UCLA some cushion, record-setting closer David Berg survived a rocky ninth inning and UCLA defeated top-seeded North Carolina 4-1 Friday night to move to the championship round of the College World Series.
The Bruins (47-17) will begin the best-of-three finals Monday against Mississippi State, which eliminated Oregon State with a 4-1 win in the afternoon.
The Tar Heels (59-12) twice loaded the bases in the ninth against Berg but came away with only one run, with the game ending on Landon Lassiter's flyout to center.
Grant Watson (9-3) allowed four hits in six innings. Carolina's Kent Emanuel (11-5) gave up five singles in six innings.
UCLA opened the CWS with 2-1 victories over LSU and North Carolina State. The Bruins, with eight total runs, matched 1976 Eastern Michigan for fewest by a team in the metal-bat era that won its first three CWS games.
Mississippi St. 4, Oregon St. 1 • Hunter Renfroe hit a three-run homer off the back wall of the left-field bullpen, and Mississippi State advanced to the College World Series finals with a victory over Oregon State.
The Bulldogs (51-18) beat the Beavers for the second time in the CWS and will play for the first time in the best-of-three championship round that starts Monday against UCLA.
Oregon State (52-13) went 2-2 in its first CWS appearance since winning back-to-back national titles in 2006-07.
Renfroe's homer off freshman left-hander Andrew Moore (14-2) was only the third in 11 CWS games and put the Bulldogs up 4-0 in the fifth.
Kendall Graveman (7-5) worked the first 52â3 innings, allowing one run on four hits. Ross Mitchell and Jonathan Holder finished, with Holder getting the last two outs for his 21st save of the season and school-record 30th of his career.
It's the sixth straight year a team from the Southeastern Conference has reached the finals.
College World Series
O Friday's games
• Mississippi St. 4, Oregon St. 1
• UCLA 4, North Carolina 1
• Mississippi State vs. UCLA , 6 p.m.