OMAHA, Neb. -- UCLA broke a 1-1 tie when Eric Filia’s two-out groundball in the top of the eighth inning was misplayed, allowing the go-ahead run to score and the Bruins went on to defeat top-ranked LSU, 2-1, in the opening round of the College World Series on Sunday night at TD Ameritrade Park.
The Tigers (57-10) saw their eight-game winning streak come to an end and lost for the first time in this NCAA postseason. LSU now faces North Carolina (57-11) in an elimination game at 2 p.m. CT Tuesday on ESPN. The Tar Heels fell by a score of 8-1 to North Carolina State in the first game on Sunday. LSU will be the home team against UNC after winning a coin flip.
College World Series Central
UCLA (45-17) held an LSU team batting .308 on the season to just five hits. The Bruins advanced to the winner’s bracket and will play NC State at 7 p.m. CT Tuesday on ESPN.
“It was a tough, tough loss that’s for sure,” said LSU head coach Paul Mainieri. “There’s nothing but great teams in this tournament and very little margin for error. We’ve got to play a little bit better. I think all of our players would probably tell you that we didn’t play as well as we could tonight. All the credit in the world goes to UCLA. They put pressure on us.”
Right fielder Mark Laird continued his hot hitting in NCAA Tournament play with two hits and his seventh double of the year. First baseman Mason Katz provided the first homer of this year’s CWS with a solo shot in the fourth.
LSU starter Aaron Nola (12-1) suffered his first loss of the year in a tough luck decision, allowing both runs – none of which were earned – on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Nola has not allowed an earned run in 26.2 consecutive innings dating back to May 23 Arkansas contest. It was Nola’s first loss since May 18, 2012 against South Carolina.
UCLA starter Adam Plutko (9-3) held the Tigers to just four hits and one run while walking two and striking out two. Plutko did not allow a leadoff hitter to reach.
Katz broke the scoreless pitcher’s duel in the fourth when he launched a one-out, solo homerun – his 16th of the season – into the left field bullpen. It represented the first homer of the 2012 CWS and his second homer of this NCAA postseason.
In the sixth, UCLA centerfielder Brian Carroll dropped a leadoff bunt and catcher Ty Ross’ errant throw sailed into right field allowing him to reach second. Two batters later, he scored on Filia’s deep sacrifice fly to tie the game at one apiece.
The Bruins benefited from another unearned run in the eighth to take the lead for good when shortstop Alex Bregman misplayed Filia’s grounder with two outs that allowed pinch runner Christoph Bono to score from third.
Trailing 2-1, LSU had one last chance in the ninth with runners at first and second and two outs against UCLA’s David Berg. After Raph Rhymes grounded into a double play, third baseman Christian Ibarra drew a walk and pinch hitter Tyler Moore continued his clutch hitting with a single to center. Second baseman JaCoby Jones worked a 3-1 count before popping out to shallow right field to end the game.
“They slapped the ball on the ground and forced us to make a couple of plays and we just came up empty on those plays,” said Mainieri. “We’ve got to just go back to playing good fundamental baseball. We get another chance to play on Tuesday, and we’ll get ready to do that.”
Men’s College World Series Notes – Game 4 – June 16, 2013
UCLA 2, LSU 1
Attendance: 26,344 (MCWS Total: 102,412; Avg. 25,228)
Time of Game: 3:10
UCLA faces NC State Tuesday at 7 p.m. (central)
LSU faces North Carolina Tuesday in an elimination game at 2 p.m. (central)
Game Four attendance of 26,344 is the 18th largest all-time session and second largest session of the 2013 CWS.
Today’s game between LSU and UCLA was the fifth meeting between the two schools … LSU holds a slim 3-2 edge in the series … UCLA has won the last two meetings, which have been in NCAA postseason play (2010 Los Angeles Regional/6-3 and 2013 CWS/2-1).
UCLA returned to the CWS for the second straight year and for the third time in the last four years (5-9 all-time record in CWS) … They returned 21 players from the 2012 team that reached the CWS with 12 of those seeing action in last year’s CWS … Senior Cody Regis is the only member on the Bruins club to appear in three different College World Series (2010, ’12 and ’13).
The Bruins went 5-0 in the NCAA Regional and Super Regional Rounds for the second straight year … They are one of three schools to have hosted NCAA Regionals the last four years (South Carolina and Virginia).
LSU is making its 16th CWS appearance – first since 2009 when it defeated Texas to claim its sixth CWS title … In four of their six championship title runs the Tigers were undefeated in CWS play (1991, ’96, ’97 and 2000).
The Tigers own a 35-21 all-time CWS record, and under head coach Paul Mainieri, LSU is 6-4 in three CWS appearances (2008-09, ‘12).
Mason Katz’ home run (solo shot) for LSU in the fourth inning was the first of the 2013 CWS.
Visiting teams in the CWS are 17-16 all-time at TDAPO and 4-0 in the 2013 CWS … It marks the first time since 1999 that all four visiting teams won the opening round games (Note: unable to verify prior to 1999)
With UCLA’s win tonight, all three national seeds (No. 1 UNC, No. 3 Oregon State and No. 4 LSU) will be playing in elimination games.
The Tigers were 5-0 in NCAA Tournament play entering the CWS … LSU is now 9-2 in postseason play including a 5-4 SEC Championship win in 11 innings over Vanderbilt.
LSU’s last appearance in the CWS was in 2009 … UNC is the only other team from the 2009 CWS tournament that qualified for this year’s tournament.
LSU has the highest all-time NCAA Tournament winning percentage (132-49, .729) …This is the Tigers 26th NCAA Tournament appearance.
LSU has brought home six CWS Championships and is in a second-place tie with Texas for most CWS Championships behind Southern California with 12.
LSU’s 57 wins tie the university and SEC record for most overall wins … Its 48 regular season wins and 23 SEC wins established a school record for most regular season and conference victories.
The LSU Tigers are currently ranked No. 3 in the nation in team ERA with a 2.41 mark … It is ranked No. 5 in the nation in fielding percentage (.980) - prior to start of CWS.
Pitcher Aaron Nola was named a first-team all-American by Collegiate Baseball and was voted SEC Pitcher of the Year.
Shortstop Alex Bregman was voted SEC Freshman of the Year.
Mason Katz’s homerun over the left field fence in the fourth inning was his second homerun of the NCAA Tournament and 16th of the season.
With his double to right field in the first inning, Mark Laird extended his hit streak to six games.
LSU has committed nine errors in the NCAA Tournament … Four have come from Alex Bregman including one tonight and two have come from Ty Ross including one tonight.
Aaron Nola threw 20 2/3 scoreless innings prior to UCLA scoring in the sixth inning in LSU's opening game of the NCAA Tournament (six innings on 6/1 against Sam Houston State, nine innings on 6/7 against Oklahoma) … He has still not allowed an earned run since May 23 against Arkansas.
Mark Laird was 2-for-4 with a double, bringing his NCAA Tournament batting average to .444 … Laird posted his 16th multi-hit game of the season and his 3rd of the NCAA Tournament (3-for-4 on June 7 against Oklahoma and 2-for-5 on June 8 against Oklahoma).
LSU has previously lost its first game of the CWS six times (1986, 89, 1994, 2003, 04, 08) and it has never come back to win a CWS Championship after a first-game loss.
Aaron Nola was 2-0 (now 2-1) entering today’s contest in NCAA Tournament play… In his last 23 innings pitched, Nola owns a 0.00 ERA … In those 23 innings, he has allowed 13 hits, seven runs (none earned), four walks, one hit-by-pitch and struck out 17.
The Bruins have outscored their opponents by a 27-11 margin in the NCAA Regional, Super Regional and CWS rounds.
UCLA has won at least 40 games in each of its four CWS seasons (1969, 1997, 2010, 2012).
Over the last four seasons, UCLA has posted 179 wins, ranking first among Pac-12 teams and seventh nationally.
UCLA has a record of 16-2 in one-run games this season.
The Bruins laid down four sac bunts on the night, which ties South Carolina (vs. Arkansas in 2012) for the most in TDAPO history … The CWS record is five by Lafayette (1953) and Michigan State (1954).
Adam Plutko picked up his second career win in the CWS (two starts) … Against No. 4 National Seed LSU he allowed one run (earned) on four hits with two strikeouts in seven innings … A year ago against Stony Brook he picked up the win working seven solid innings allowing one run (earned) on five hits with seven strikeouts and two walks … In his two CWS starts, he has surrendered just two runs (both earned) on nine hits with four walks and nine strikeouts in 14.0 innings … He has induced 20 fly ball and 12 ground ball outs … Plutko is UCLA’s all-time postseason leader in games started (seven), wins (six) and innings pitched (51.2) … He dropped to second in ERA (0.87), while moving into third place in strikeouts (35).
Eric Filia extended his hit streak to seven games with his single to center in the first frame … He snapped Aaron Nola’s 20 2/3 scoreless streak (2013 NCAA Tournament) with an RBI sac fly to left field in the sixth that scored Brian Carroll.
Pat Gallagher, who was named the Los Angeles Regional Most Outstanding Player, extended his current hit streak to seven games with a single to right field in the fifth inning.
Kevin Williams stole a career-best two bases in the seventh inning … Prior to his two thefts, he was 2-for-3 on the season.
Christoph Bono scored the go-ahead, 2-1, run for the Bruins (from second) in the eighth inning on a fielding error by shortstop Alex Bregman – his fourth of the NCAA Tournament.
James Kaprielian relieved Plutko, tossing a perfect eighth before passing the ball to David Berg.
Berg, the NCBWA Stopper of the Year and Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year, made his 47th appearance out of the bullpen this season notching his 22nd save … Five of his 23 career saves have been in postseason play, which is a Bruin school-record … With his one inning of scoreless relief, Berg lowered his nation-leading ERA to 0.87 (7 earned runs in 72.1 innings).