June 18, 2013
Omaha, Neb. - UCLA used its usual formula of strong pitching and timely hitting to defeat North Carolina State, 2-1, in game two of the College World Series. Junior pitcher Nick Vander Tuig became the second consecutive Bruin to pitch a gem, earning the win by going 7.0 innings and allowing just one run while striking out six. Reliever David Berg pitched two innings of one-hit ball to pick up his NCAA record-tying 23rd save of the season.
Logan Jernigan took the loss for the Wolfpack, giving up two runs on three hits in 4.1 innings of work, walking three and striking out three. Vander Tuig scattered four hits over his seven innings while walking none.
Similar to the Bruins' first game against LSU, the opposing team took the early 1-0 lead. After a scoreless first two innings, North Carolina State struck first in the bottom of the third. Vander Tuig hit Bryan Adametz to lead off the inning and then gave up a single to Logan Ratledge to put runners on first and second with nobody out. After a sacrifice bunt moved up the runners, Trea Turner singled home Adametz to make it 1-0 Wolfpack. On the same play, Brenton Allen's throw home sailed over Shane Zeile's head and Ratledge attempted to score from third. Zeile did well to track the ball quickly though, and threw out Ratledge at the plate with help from a great tag from Vander Tuig to limit the damage in the inning.
The Bruins fought back in the top of the fifth, as senior Cody Regis walked and Allen singled to put runners at first and second with one out. After a walk to Brian Carroll loaded the bases, Jernigan was pulled and sophomore Kevin Kramer stepped up to the plate. Left-hander Grant Sasser entered for the Wolfpack, and on the second pitch of the at-bat Kramer hit a looping single to center, scoring Regis and tying things up at 1-1. Two batters later with Pat Valaika at the plate, Sasser threw a wild pitch that got by catcher Brett Austin, allowing Allen to come in from third and putting the Bruins ahead, 2-1.
After his tough third inning, Vander Tuig settled in and retired 14 of the next 15 batters he faced to make UCLA's one-run lead hold up through the seventh inning. He stayed in for one batter in the eighth inning, but after giving up a leadoff single to Bryan Adametz, UCLA head coach John Savage summoned closer David Berg to face Jake Armstrong. Berg hit Armstrong with a pitch to give NC State runners on first and second with no outs. Ratledge laid down a bunt to try to advance the runners, but Berg pounced on the bunt and fired to third to get the lead runner, then got Turner on a long fly out that was tracked down with a nice catch by Christoph Bono. Berg regrouped to strike out Jake Fincher on three pitches to end the inning.
In the ninth, Tarran Senay reached on a one-out single, but Berg got each of the next two batters swinging to record his NCAA record-tying 23rd save.
"What can you say?" head coach John Savage said. "Right now, I guess that's who we are. It's Bruin baseball. Sometimes it's grueling, tough to watch, I'm sure, from outside the dugout, but our kids hung in there, and they persevered. We really didn't do much offensively. You have to give their pitchers a ton of credit. They pounded the zone. We were opportunistic. Pitching and defense are clearly our strength. We know our strength, and sometimes it's walking a tightrope, and tonight was one of those nights."
"I tip my hat to our guys," he continued. "We hung in there, and at the end of the day we're moving on."
UCLA (46-17) is in the driver's seat in the winner's bracket and will face the winner of the North Carolina State (50-15)/North Carolina (58-11) game on Friday, June 21 at 7 p.m. CT/ 5 p.m. PT.
Game Notes: David Berg tied an NCAA record with his 23rd save of the season, tying Jack Krawczyk from USC (1998) and Tyler Rogers from Austin Peay (2013)...Berg also made his nation-leading 48th appearance tonight and lowered his ERA to a national-best 0.85...the Bruins are now 7-0 in the postseason and the only team left in the College World Series that has not lost a game in postseason play...UCLA's seven-game postseason winning streak is now the longest postseason winning streak in program history...the Bruins have won back-to-back one-run games in the postseason for the second time in school history (1979)...UCLA has outscored its opponents by 17 runs in this postseason (29-12)...the Bruins are now 17-2 in one-run ballgames...UCLA has now posted the three most single-season wins in program history in the last four years (2010 - 51, 2012 - 48, 2013 - 46)...Nick Vander Tuig won his fifth career postseason game tonight, ranking him second all-time on UCLA's postseason wins list behind teammate Adam Plutko (6)...with the win, Vander Tuig now ranks third all-time on UCLA's single season wins list, matching Trevor Bauer (2011) and Jim Parque's (1997) 13 wins...Vander Tuig also won career game No. 26 tonight, putting him third all-time on UCLA's career wins list with Bill Brasher (1964-66).