NORTH CAROLINA (59-11) vs. UCLA (46-17)
8 p.m. ET Thursday (ESPN)  |  TD Ameritrade Park  |  Omaha, Neb.
Announcers: Mike Patrick, Orel Hershiser, Jessica Mendoza
Series History: UNC leads 5-1 Last: March 2, 2001 (UCLA 12-2) Recap
Game Details  Scoreboard  Watch  Listen  Brackets: Interactive  CWS
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T9: All UNC has to do is get four against Berg (0.85 ERA) who has 23 saves this season. This isn't a save situation, but will be tough against Stubbs, Bolt, Russell ... Stubbs gets things started with a single to RF -- he's 3-for-3 and Lassiter is 3-for-4, the rest of the Tar Heels are 0-for-22 ... Skye Bolt breaks that stat up with a hard-hit single to CF. UNC not going quietly ... Russell walks on a 3-1 pitch. Bases loaded for Mike Zolk ... Remember -- no team has ever come back when trailing after eight in the CWS at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha: 35-0 ... Zolk rolls one out to second and UCLA gets the force at second even though it looked like SS Pat Valaika got the benefit of the call with a 'neighborhood play' -- run scores and runners on the corners for Parks Jordan ... Jordan strikes out swinging for the second out and it's left to Chaz Frank ... Frank walks to reload the bases for Landon Lassiter who is 3-for-4 tonight ... Lassiter flies out to CF to end it. UCLA will meet Mississippi State on Monday night in a best 2-of-3 championship finals. Grant Watson gets the win and moves to 9-3 while Kent Emanuel falls to 11-5 ... The ACC will wait another year for a title -- drought stands at 58 now ... UCLA leads 4-1.

B8: Tonight's attendance: 25,947 bringing the total to 288,666, which is approx. 32,000 ahead of last year ... Into the game for UNC on the mound, righty Chris Munnelly (6-0, 2.41) ... Two quick outs for Munnelly and Forbes comes out for another pitching change. In comes Benton Moss (8-1, 3.78) ... Guess who's warming in the UCLA bullpen? David. Berg. ... Inning over. We go to the ninth inning; UNC needs four to tie this thing up.

T8: Landon Lassiter notches his third hit in four at bats with one out for Colin Moran who is 0-for-3 tonight ... Moran grounds out weakly to second as Lassiter moves up to second base ... Two outs for Brian Holberton ... And he grounds out softly to second as well for the final out. The No. 1 overal seed is three outs away from being sent home as we go to the bottom of the eighth.

B7: Emanuel's night is done as Chris McCue (7-1, 2.00) comes into the game for his fourth appearance in UNC's fourth game at the CWS. He's gone five innings allowing two hits and no runs while striking out four and recording a save. He has hit three batters, though ... McCue walks Carroll to start the inning ... Kramer gets Carroll over to second base with a sac-bunt and out comes Scott Forbes with a slow walk to the mound ... Forbes calls on the lefthander Tate Parrish (1-0, 0.00) who is the definition of a lefty specialist: 19 appearances and only 6.2 innings. He's thrown 0.1 innings at the CWS which was a strikeout and he'll face Eric Filia (0-for-3, run tonight) ... And Parrish walks his only batter and Forbes comes out again to make the change -- now it's righty Trevor Kelly (2-1, 3.68) to face Pat Valaika who is looking for his first hit at the 2013 CWS (0-for-9). Two on with one out ... And Valaika comes through with a line drive double down the LF line that scores two ... Kelley gets Pat Gallagher to ground out to shortstop for the second out ... And the inning ends with a pop out to first by Kevin Williams. To the eighth we go. When do we see Berg? ... 4-0 UCLA.

T7: After a lead off single by Cody Stubbs for UNC's fourth hit of the night, Grant Watson's night is done after 6-plus innings. In comes James Kaprielian (0-0, 1.63) who has worked one inning at the CWS this year. He'll face Skye Bolt ... And down goes Bolt again without trying to bunt the leadoff guy over ... I know it's 2-0 now but ... Here's Michael Russell ... And he gets plunked by a pitch to put the tying runs on for Mike Zolk (0-for-2 tonight) ... Zolk hits it right on the screws but right at the RF Eric Filia for the second out as the runners stay at first and second for Parks Jordan (also 0-for-2 tonight) ... Jordan goes down swinging for the final out of the inning as UNC leaves two on to total six for the game. The Nos. 6-9 hitters in the UNC lineup are 0-for-11 with a HBP. Ouch.

B6: With Emanuel still out there at 83 pitches to start the inning, Eric Filia grounds one past first baseman Cody Stubbs who is charged an error on the play on a ball that took a filthy skip on him into RF. UCLA has thrived on making teams pay for their mistakes -- let's see if they can do it again and tack on a run ... Pat Valaika bunts Filia over to second -- gotta love the clean-up hitter bunting just like UNC did last night. Runner on second with one out ... Gallagher rips a single the other way to LF for a hit and they are at the corners with one out for Kevin Williams ... And UCLA gets the unearned run as Williams knocks in Filia from third. For Williams, it's just his 12th RBI this season ... Emanuel strikes out Zeile on three pitches for the second out. Runners still at first and second ... Emanuel running out of gas as he walks Cody Regis to load the bases ... Looks like Fox and Forbes are going to stick with their lefty ... Emanuel gets Allen to strike out swinging on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning ... 2-0 UCLA.

T6: Watson works around a two-out single by Landon Lassiter and is through six innings allowing just three hits after a nine pitch inning.

B5: Emanuel strikes out Brenton Allen swinging for the first out and Carroll flies out weakly to right ... Kevin Kramer grounds out to second to end the inning. Let's see if UNC's big offense can get going here ...

T5: Grant Watson keeps rolling for UCLA as he sets down UNC in order in the fifth. Watson is at 59 pitches -- 41 for strikes (!!!) -- through five innings.

B4: Emanuel gets Pat Gallagher to lead off the fourth ... Kevin Williams follows with a ground out to second base. Those two started the UCLA rally in the second ... Shane Zeile draws a two-out walk and that will bring UNC pitching coach Scott Forbes out of the dugout for a visit with Emanuel ... Emanuel strikes out Cody Regis to end the inning. No hits and one left for UCLA in the fourth. Emanuel is at 72 pitches.

T4: After Colin Moran flied out to start the inning, Brian Holberton is hit by a pitch and Cody Stubbs gets on with an infield single ... Skye Bolt grounds into a 6-4-3 double play with a very close play at first base. It looked like Bolt beat it out but it's as if he just grazed first base with his toe as he ran past and for an umpire that listens for the 'thud-thud', he didn't hear it so he's out. One hit and one left for UNC in the fourth ...

B3: Kevin Kramer goes down swinging to start the third ...  Eric Filia is now up and gets hit by a pitch in the elbow. One problem though: he stuck his arm out so he's called back to the plate where he's called out on strikes for the second out ... Pat Valaika flies out to RF to end the inning as Emanuel settles back in for a 1-2-3 inning.

T3: Duane Cross will have a retrospective on the struggles that hitters have had during the CWS, but a preview: all teams combined are hitting .239 with runners on base and just .202 with runners in scoring position. Pitching! ... Watson gets Parks Jordan to fly out to LF to start the third ... Chaz Frank pops one into RF and is retired quickly for the second out and Landon Lassiter strikes out swinging ... UNC goes down 1-2-3 in the third.

B2: UCLA is on the board with its first hit as Pat Gallagher laces one into right-centerfield for a single. Great play by Chaz Frank to keep him at first as he barehanded the ball in the gap and fired in quickly -- Gallagher had his eyes on second even if Frank stumbled just a tad ... Kevin Williams follows with a chopper over the head of first baseman Cody Stubbs and all of a sudden, the Bruins have runners on the corners with one out ... We talked before about Grant Watson having a decent move to first. Well, Kent Emanuel really does have a great move. Williams was just moving back to the bag as Emanuel delivered an offering to Shane Zeile. He's picked off 10 runners this season. It's good to be a lefty on the mound ... Zeile pops one into CF for the second out and it definitely wasn't deep enough to score the runner from third. With the wind howling in from CF again at 25+ MPH, that ball was almost coming back towards the infield. The inning is left for Cody Regis ... And there's our first run of the game as Regis grounds one through the right side to score Gallagher for his 19th RBI of the year. Runners still on the corners for Brenton Allen ... Emanuel walks Allen to load the bases and we go back to the top of the order with Brian Carroll with two outs. Remember -- Emanuel hasn't gotten out of the third inning in his last two starts ... But he gets out of this jam as he gets Carroll swinging to end the inning. One run on three hits and three left ... 1-0 UCLA.

T2: A walk to Cody Stubbs starts things in the second ... Watson looks like he has a decent move over to first base, but then again what lefty doesn't? For the record, Watson has picked off two runners this season. Freshman Skye Bolt swings and misses for the first out of the inning. Interesting that Mike Fox didn't have the bunt on there. After all, we saw UNC bunting with its clean-up hitter Brian Holberton last night ... Michael Russell proceeds to ground into a force out as UCLA 3B Kevin Kramer picks up the grounder and tosses to 2B to force Stubbs. One on and two out for Mike Zolk ... Zolk tries to bunt for a hit up the third-base line but it rolls just foul. He proceeds to fly out to RF to end the inning. No hits and one left for UNC in the second.

B1: Well, here comes the vaunted UCLA offense. Just kidding. The Bruins are hitting just .169 in their two game sin Omaha -- 10-for-59 -- but they've scored just enough to win two, 2-1 games ... Brian Carroll -- the team's best hitter in Omaha at 2-for-6 -- tries to bunt his way on but is thrown out by a quick-pouncing Kent Emanuel off the mound for the firs tout ... Kevin Kramer -- the Bruins best hitter overall at .280 -- grounds out to SS and Eric Filia also grounds out to end the inning. Emanuel needed an inning like that -- 1-2-3.

T1: Grant Watson gets Chaz Frank to fly out to LF to start things in the nightcap ... Landon Lassiter follows with a clean single into center to bring up Colin Moran who has really started to heat up. He was hitting just .233 entering the CWS during the postseason but has posted back-to-back three hit games and is 6-for-12 in Omaha ... Moran strikes out swinging for the second out and up comes Brian Holberton ... UNC's catcher pops out to the third baseman in foul ground to end the inning. One hit and one left on for the Tar Heels in the top of the first.

Pregame: In what shouldn't be a surprise, North Carolina will oppose another lefty pitcher tonight -- the seventh consecutive game in which the Tar Heels will see one start against them. The matchup: for homestanding UCLA, sophomore Grant Watson (8-3, 3.22) takes the ball for head coach John Savage. His last appearance came in the regional final when the Bruins beat San Diego. Watson went seven innings and allowed only one hit. The start snapped a string of 10 in a row allowing two or more runs when he posted an ERA of 5.28. For visiting North Carolina, a familiar face will start -- lefthander Kent Emanuel. It'll be his second start in the CWS after he lasted just 2.2 innings after allowing five runs on six hits against NC State last Sunday.

Pregame: It's still hot out. In fact, it's hotter than it was at first pitch of the first game -- 92 degrees and it feels like 101 out. We'll have starting pitchers and more for tonight's matchup betwen UCLA and North Carolina in a few ...

UNC has posted 49 NCAA tournament wins since 2006, three more than its Super Regional opponent South Carolina (46). Oregon State, who was also in the 2013 CWS, is third on the list with 37. ... The Tar Heels are now 5-7 at the College World Series in elimination games. ... North Carolina owns the most overall wins since the start of the 2006 season with 407, which includes five 50-plus win seasons.

UCLA is now 7-0 in the NCAA tournament. It is the only team that is still undefeated in postseason play this year. The Bruins have outscored their opponents by a 29-12 margin in the NCAA Regional, Super Regional and CWS rounds. ... The Bruins have held their opponents to two runs or fewer in 30 of their 63 games. They are 29-1 when holding opponents to two runs or fewer.


Great stat to stash away ...
Everyone in the pressbox disagrees with this statement.
Current Met and former Fullerton great Justin Turner -- currently on the DL -- now rooting for and watching UCLA.
Yes it should be!
We agree whole-heartedly.