By Eric Olson/The Associated Press
OMAHA, Neb. — Pat Valaika’s two-run double gave UCLA some cushion, record-setting closer David Berg survived a rocky ninth inning and UCLA defeated top-seeded North Carolina 4-1 Friday night to move to the championship round of the College World Series.
The Bruins (47-17) will begin the best-of-three finals Monday against Mississippi State, which eliminated Oregon State with a 4-1 win in the afternoon.
The Tar Heels (59-12) twice loaded the bases in the ninth against Berg but came away with only one run, with the game ending on Landon Lassiter’s flyout to center.
Grant Watson (9-3) allowed four hits in six innings. Carolina’s Kent Emanuel (11-5) gave up five singles in six innings.
UCLA opened the CWS with 2-1 victories over LSU and North Carolina State. The Bruins, with eight total runs, matched 1976 Eastern Michigan for fewest by a team in the metal-bat era that won its first three CWS games.