The national title is UCLA baseball’s first College World Series title and 109th national title in school history. The Bruins improve to a final 49-17 on the season and a perfect 10-0 in the NCAA Tournament, while Mississippi State falls to 51-20 and a second place finish.
For the second night in a row, UCLA took a 1-0 lead over Mississippi State by scoring in the first inning. Leadoff batter Brian Carroll was hit-by-pitch and advanced to third when Kevin Kramer laid down a sacrifice bunt. Kramer reached first safely after a fielding error from MSU pitcher Luis Pollorena and another error by first baseman Wes Rea allowed Carroll to reach third. Eric Filia lined out to rightfield, but the ball was hit deep enough for Carroll to tag up and score.
The Bruins tacked on two more runs in the third off of MSU pitcher Ross Mitchell. Carroll led things off again, but this time with a one-out walk. Kramer singled to rightfield to give UCLA runners on first and third, and Filia laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Carroll and move Kramer into scoring position. Pat Valaika followed with a single down the rightfield line to bring in Filia for UCLA’s third run, and Valaika advanced to third on a fielding error from Hunter Renfroe – MSU’s third fielding error of the game.
In the fourth, Mitchell hit UCLA leadoff batter Kevin Williams, and prompted MSU head coach John Cohen to bring in Ben Bracewell in relief. Bracewell faced three batters and recorded one out in a sacrifice bunt from Shane Zeile. After Bracewell gave up an RBI single to Cody Regis and a double to Brenton Allen, Jonathan Holder entered the game to face Carroll. Carroll was hit-by-pitch to load up the bases, and Kramer knocked a sacrifice fly out to centerfield to score Regis and give UCLA a 5-0 lead.
In the fifth, the Bulldogs threatened to pick away at UCLA’s lead when Sam Frost and Nick Ammirati hit consecutive singles to leftfield, but the Bruins’ starting pitcher Nick Vander Tuig induced a ground ball to third and recorded two strikeouts to end the inning.
The Bruins added a run in sixth when Regis led off the inning with a single to third base. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Allen – UCLA’s fourth sacrifice bunt of the game. One out later, Kramer walked and Filia singled up the middle to score Regis.
An unrelentless Bruins’ offense continued to add to its lead in the eighth. Four consecutive singles from Christoph Bono, Carroll, Kramer and Filia brought the score to a final 8-0.
Nick Vander Tuig earned his fourth straight win and improved to 14-4 on the season. He went eight innings and allowed five hits, one walk and struck out six. David Berg made his 51st appearance of the season – tying a single season record for appearances – and retired the final three outs.
Luis Pollorena (6-4) took the loss. Pollorena went one inning and allowed one run (unearned) on one hit.