OMAHA, Neb. — Nick Vander Tuig scattered four hits over seven-plus innings, and UCLA produced just enough offense to defeat North Carolina State 2-1 in the College World Series on Tuesday.
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, the fifth meeting of the teams this season.
UCLA used two walks, two singles and a wild pitch to scratch out a couple runs and go up 2-1 in the fifth. Two innings before, Vander Tuig tagged out a runner at the plate to keep the Wolfpack from adding to a 1-0 lead.
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.
NC State starter Logan Jernigan (1-1) took the loss.
Jernigan allowed two hits through four innings but couldn’t get out of the fifth. Wolfpack coach Elliott Avent called on lefty Grant Sasser after Jernigan gave up a single and two walks to load the bases.
Kevin Kramer delivered the tying single. With the bases still loaded, Sasser’s changeup bounced away from catcher Brent Austin, and Brenton Allen scored from third to put UCLA up 2-1.
North Carolina 4,
OMAHA, Neb. — Brian Holberton homered, freshman Trent Thornton pitched a strong seven innings, and No. 1 national seed North Carolina extended its stay at the College World Series.
The Tar Heels (58-11) play North Carolina State in an elimination game Thursday. The No. 4-seeded Tigers (57-11) went 0-2 in their first CWS appearance since winning the 2009 national title.
Holberton’s 12th homer of the season staked the Tar Heels to a 2-0 lead in the first inning against LSU starter Cody Glenn (7-3), and Colin Moran singled to make it 3-0 in the third.
Thornton (12-1) worked around two singles and three walks to hold the Tigers scoreless until the fifth. Leading 4-2, Thornton walked Christian Ibarra to start the eighth and was relieved by Chris McCue.