OMAHA, Neb.— Nick Vander Tuig allowed four hits over seven-plus innings and UCLA produced just enough offense to defeat North Carolina State 2-1 in the College World Series on Tuesday night.
UCLA (46-17) moved within one victory of next week's best-of-three finals. The Wolfpack (50-15) will play an elimination game against North Carolina on Thursday.
UCLA used two walks, two singles and a wild pitch to scratch out a couple of runs and go up 2-1 in the fifth. Two innings before, Vander Tuig tagged out a runner at the plate to keep the Wolfpack from adding to a 1-0 lead.
Vander Tuig (13-4) retired 13 of 14 batters heading into the eighth inning. David Berg came on after Vander Tuig gave up a leadoff single to Bryan Adametz. Berg worked out of trouble in the eighth and earned his NCAA record-tying 23rd save.
NC State starter Logan Jernigan (1-1) took the loss.
North Carolina 4, LSU 2
OMAHA, Neb. — Brian Holberton homered, freshman Trent Thornton pitched a strong seven innings and No. 1 national seed North Carolina extended its stay at the College World Series.
The Tar Heels (58-11) play North Carolina State in an elimination game Thursday. The No. 4-seeded Tigers (57-11) went 0-2 in their first CWS appearance since winning the 2009 national title.
Holberton's 12th homer of the season staked the Tar Heels to a 2-0 lead in the first inning against LSU starter Cody Glenn (7-3), and Colin Moran singled to make it 3-0 in the third.
Thornton (12-1) worked around two singles and three walks to hold the Tigers scoreless until the fifth. Leading 4-2, Thornton walked Christian Ibarra to start the eighth and was relieved by Chris McCue.
McCue hit Sean McMullen in the arm with 2-2 pitch to load the bases with two out. That brought up Mark Laird, who had a double and four singles in his first eight CWS at-bats. But McCue got Laird to fly out to short left field and keep it a two-run game.
McCue worked a perfect ninth for his second save.