By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
OMAHA, Neb. – Mississippi State couldn’t overcome recent history or the UCLA pitching staff, and its quest for a national championship fell short.
The Bulldogs lost 8-0 to the Bruins on Tuesday night at TD Ameritrade Park in Game 2 of the College World Series finals. MSU (51-20) was going for its first national title.
UCLA’s athletic department owns 109 national titles, but this was its first in baseball. The Bruins (49-17) got it done with strong starting pitching and an offense that manufactured runs.
MSU starter Luis Pollorena lasted only one inning, and the Bruins staked a 5-0 lead by the fourth inning. UCLA starter Nick Vander Tuig tossed eight shutout innings.
They won the first game, 3-1, which greatly tilted the odds in favor of the Bruins winning the title. Since the CWS went to a best-of-three format for the finals, the winner of Game 1 has gone on to win the series nine times, including seven sweeps.
This was MSU’s ninth CWS appearance, and the fifth for UCLA. It was State’s best showing in Omaha, as it won the first three games before meeting the Bruins.