FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
OMAHA, Neb. – In a battle of dominant pitching performances, UCLA’s small-ball execution and opportunistic offense edged out LSU to win 2-1 in the fourth game of the 2013 Men’s College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park.
UCLA (45-17) advances to play North Carolina State at 7 p.m. CT on Tuesday. Fourth-seeded LSU (57-10) will face elimination Tuesday against North Carolina at 2 p.m. CT.
It was a low-scoring, tightly contested game that’s becoming a TD Ameritrade Park trademark. UCLA took advantage of two LSU errors and a sacrifice fly to earn its runs, and the Bruins also laid down four sacrifice bunts and stole three bases in the contest.
The go-ahead run came in the top of the eighth. Pinch hitter Ty Moore led off the inning with a single. Brian Carroll bunted pinch runner Christoph Bono over, and Bono scored when Eric Filia reached on an error by LSU shortstop Alex Bregman.
LSU came within two bases of tying the game in the bottom of the ninth. Mason Katz led off the inning by reaching first on an error by the shortstop, but UCLA wiped the slate clean with a 5-4-3 double play. Ibarra walked, and pinch hitter Tyler Moore singled up the middle to put the tying run in scoring position. After a fake pickoff play failed to fool the LSU runners, JaCoby Jones popped up to left field on full count to end the game.
LSU scored first after three shutout innings on both sides. With one out in the fourth, Katz hit the first home run of the 2013 CWS with a shot into the left field bullpen. Christian Ibarra nearly made it two when his fly ball took left fielder Brenton Allen all the way to the wall for the inning’s third out.
UCLA third baseman Kevin Kramer saved a base hit in the fifth with a web gem of a play, snagging a ball on a high bounce over his opposite shoulder.
Then the Bruins answered with a run of their own in the top of the sixth. Carroll bunted for a base hit and took second on a throwing error. A groundout by Kevin Kramer moved him to third, and Filia’s sacrifice fly drove Carroll home.
Aaron Nola (12-1) took his first loss of the season despite not giving up an earned run Saturday. He has now thrown 23 postseason innings without giving up an earned run and extended his postseason scoreless streak to 20.2 innings before UCLA’s first run. In Saturday’s game he gave up five hits and struck out five while walking one.
Reliever Nick Rumbelow took the mound in the final inning for the Tigers, striking out three batters despite allowing one to reach base thanks to one of his two wild pitches.
UCLA starter Adam Plutko (9-3) earned the win, going seven innings with four hits, one run, two walks and two strikeouts. David Berg earned his 22nd save, giving up one hit and one walk in the ninth before inducing the final fly out. James Kaprielian also pitched one inning of perfect relief for the Bruins.
LSU put two runners on for the first time in the sixth, when Mark Laird singled and Katz walked, but Raph Rhymes flew out to end the Tigers’ threat.
UCLA had another chance to score in the top of the seventh, when Kevin Williams was hit by the pitch and then stole second and third. But Cody Regis grounded out to second base for the third out before Williams could make it home.
The Bruins threatened to extend their lead in the ninth when Williams reached on a strikeout-wild pitch combo, took second on Pat Gallagher’s sac bunt and made it to third on another wild pitch. Cody Regis walked to put runners on the corners, but Rumbelow struck out Bono to prevent the run.