By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
OMAHA, Neb. | Recapping MSU’s 8-0 loss to UCLA in Game 2 of the College World Series finals at TD Ameritrade Park on Tuesday.
• The buzz: UCLA (49-17) again got great pitching, and the offense turned it up a notch as the Bruins claimed their first national championship. MSU (51-20) never could find an answer with its bats, and some early errors also hurt tonight. Four Bulldogs made the all-tournament team: Brett Pirtle, Trey Porter, Wes Rea and Hunter Renfroe.
• Big inning: UCLA scored four runs over the third and fourth innings. In the third, Eric Filia‘s safety squeeze bunt scored one, and then Pat Valaika had an RBI single. In the fourth, Cody Regis had an RBI single, and Kevin Kramer had a sac fly.
• Key stats: MSU committed three errors. … UCLA was 5 of 12 with runners in scoring position; MSU was 0 of 8.
• MSU at the plate: The Bulldogs had five hits, all singles. … State stranded seven runners. … After back-to-back singles by Sam Frost and Nick Ammirati to open the fifth, MSU couldn’t get anything out of it.
• UCLA at the plate: The Bruins had 12 hits. … Filia was 2 of 5 with five RBIs. … Kramer and Regis also had two hits. … Brian Carroll had one hit but reached base four times and scored three runs.
• MSU on the mound: Starter Luis Pollorena (6-4) lasted just one inning. He gave up an unearned run, due to errors committed by him and Rea on a Kramer bunt in the first inning. … Ross Mitchell tossed two innings, allowing three runs on two hits with a walk. … Ben Bracewell was charged with a run on two hits in one-third of an inning. … Jonathan Holder pitched four innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and a walk. … Will Cox got two outs in the eighth.
• UCLA on the mound: Starter Nick Vander Tuig (14-4) was dominant, tossing eight shutout innings. He allowed five hits, struck out six and walked one on 117 pitches. … David Berg pitched a perfect ninth.
• Quotable: “What we did was we knocked on the door, and UCLA’s knocked on the door before several times, and they knocked down the door, and we didn’t do that.” – MSU coach John Cohen
• Bottom line: Tough way to end the season, but it was a tremendous run by MSU, which late in the regular season was on the NCAA regional hosting bubble. State did some uncharacteristic things against UCLA, but on the whole it was a great postseason run. I’ve got a column running tomorrow on how big this was for the Bulldogs, even if they didn’t win it. I’d expect them to be back soon.
Read more in Wednesday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.