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2013 CWS: UCLA 4 UNC 1

UCLAFeaturedOmaha, Neb. – Pat Valaika, Pat Gallagher, Cody Regis and Kevin Williams provided the winning offensive combination for the Bruins on Friday night in a 4-1 victory for UCLA over the University of North Carolina at TD Ameritrade Park.

With the win, UCLA improves to 47-17 on the season and a perfect 3-0 in the College World Series while UNC falls to a final 59-12. UCLA will now face an also undefeated Mississippi State in a final best-of-three series beginning on June 24 at 7 p.m. CT.

UCLA lit up the scoreboard early on left-hander Grant Watson, stringing together three singles in the second inning to take a 1-0 lead. Gallagher started UCLA off with a one-out single to left-centerfield, and Williams followed with a single through the right side. With two strikes and two outs, Regis grounded through the right side for his first – and only UCLA’s third – RBI of the CWS.

The Bruins added to its lead in the sixth aided by an error from UNC first baseman Cody Stubbs. Eric Filia reached base on the fielding error and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Valaika. Gallagher and Williams once again followed with consecutive singles to score Filia and give the Bruins a 2-0 lead.

Watson took UCLA through six scoreless innings – and 18 straight scoreless innings dating back to May 26 – before giving up a leadoff single to Stubbs and having James Kaprielian take over in relief. Kaprielian recorded a strikeout in Skye Bolt before hitting Michael Russell in the forearm to give UNC runners on first and second with one out. But Kapreilian ended the inning on a flyout to rightfield and a strikeout to snuff what hope the leadoff hit provided.

UCLA cemented its lead in the seventh. The Bruins weeded through three different Tar Heel pitchers and drew two walks and a two-RBI double from Valaika to take a commanding 4-0 lead.

With rally caps on in the ninth, UNC strung together two consecutive singles from Stubbs and Bolt, and Russell drew a walk to load the bases on David Berg. Mike Zolk grounded into a fielder’s choice but pushed UNC’s first run of the game across in Stubbs. Berg recorded a strikeout in Parks Jordan but walked Chaz Frank to load up the bases for Lassiter – who was 3-for-5 on the night.

With a 1-1 count, Lassiter lined a ball to centerfield and into the glove of Brian Carroll to secure the final out and the win for the Bruins.

Watson earned the win and improves to 9-3 on the season for his fifth straight win. He allowed no runs on four hits, one walk and struck out three.

Emanuel took the loss and fell to 11-5. In six innings, he allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits, three walks and struckout seven.

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