Live from Omaha: CWS Finals Game 1
MISSISSIPPI STATE (51-18) vs. UCLA (47-17)
8 p.m. ET Monday (ESPN) | TD Ameritrade Park | Omaha, Neb.
Announcers: Mike Patrick, Orel Hershiser, Kyle Peterson, Kaylee Hartung, Jessica Mendoza
Series History: UCLA leads 4-1 Last: March 13, 2010 (UCLA 5-2) Recap
Game Details Scoreboard Watch Listen Brackets: Interactive CWS
|Notes | Roster | Schedule Stats: Season | Postseason||Notes | Roster | Schedule Stats: Season | Postseason|
|Follow MSU Baseball: @mstateBB||Follow UCLA Baseball: @UCLABaseball|
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B9: Wes Rea leads off against Berg and rolls one out softly to third base. Kevin Kramer had plenty of time to throw out Rea at first ... Here's C.T. Bradford ... Bradford grounds one through the left side just out of the reach of Pat Valaika at SS and Mississippi State has exaclty what they need. They had to get one on to have a chance and they do. Sam Frost, a lefty, will pinch hit for Derrick Armstrong ... And Frost bloops one down the LF line for a single. That pitch was hanging up in the zone and Frost was able to put it in play. Nick Ammirati comes up with the tying runs on ... Ammirati flies out to LF as Berg slipped when he delvered that pitch. Two outs, two on for pinch hitter Jacob Robson -- a .208 hitter -- but he's a lefty against the sidearming righty Berg ... Robson grounds out to Berg who flips to first for the final out. Give the win to Adam Plutko who is now 10-3, while Trevor Fitts falls to 0-1. David Berg gets his 24th save -- a single-season record. With a win Tuesday night, UCLA will win its first national championship. ... UCLA wins 3-1.
T9: Chad Girodo is still in there for the Bulldogs at 105 pitches to start the inning. He's got nine strikeouts in 6.2 innings of work ... Cody Regis grounds back to Girodo to start the inning, now it's Christoph Bono ... Bono flies out to RF ... Brian Carroll walks with two outs to bring up Kevin Kramer (0-for-4) ... Nick Ammirati guns down Carroll at second base on a close play as Carroll was trying to swipe his second base of the night. On to the bottom of the ninth we go as Berg trots back out. Due up for MSU, Wes Rea, C.T. Bradford and Derrick Armstrong
B8: Zack Weiss (2-1, 2.27) into the game for UCLA as he looks to bridge the gap to closer David Berg. We've seen coach Savage go to Berg early and you'd assume he would again as the sidearmer is getting loose quickly in the RF bullpen ... Weiss gets Alex Detz to fly out to begin the inning. And that's huge with Hunter Renfroe up next ... Renfroe gets nailed with a pitch in the shoulder that just missed hitting his face. The worst part? It was on a 3-0 pitch. Ouch ... And heeeeere comes Berg (7-0, 0.96) for the five-out save ... Right away Berg gets the ground ball he needs against Brett Pirtle to second for a 4-6-3 double play. This is Berg's 100th career appearance in two years (50 and 50). He'll break the single-season saves record if he closes this out (he's tied with 23 right now). Off to the ninth we go.
T8: Tonight's attendance: 25,690 ... Girodo is over 100 pitches as he gets two quick outs in the eighth ... Shane Zeile grounds out to third to end the inning. Bulldogs coming up in the bottom of the eighth trailing by two.
B7: Trey Porter leads off the seventh inning with a single to RF. Derrick Armstrong will pinch run for Porter at first base. And that ends the night for Plutko as he goes 6-plus innings and gives way to righty James Kaprielian (0-0, 1.59) ... Zack Weiss and David Berg are up in the UCLA bullpen. Remember what I said about Berg below and just how much respect the Mississippi State staff has for him. We'll see if they try to push the envelope here with Nick Ammirati up ... Sure enough they do as Armstrong takes off for second on a 3-1 pitch, but it turns out to be ball four. Two on with nobody out for Demarcus Henderson. Gotta bunt, right? ... Henderson can't get the bunt down on the first two pitches and proceeds to scorch one up the middle that is snared by Cody Regis who flips to second for one and Pat Valaika throws on to first to double up Henderson. Armstrong goes over to third with two outs. The UCLA defense is at it again as Adam Frazier comes up ... We've talked all CWS about how UCLA grinds out wins and finds ways to win games. That double play is the perfect example -- they do all the little things right to win games ... Frazier, who was 0-for-3 with three flyouts to LF, grounds out to second base to end the inning as MSU strands its sixth runner of the night.
T7: No shock here -- Ross Mitchell is warming in the Mississippi State bullpen. This is the Bulldogs' formula: start a guy like Fitts, have him pitch int othe second, bring in Girodo for multiple innings until it's time for Mitchell. And then hopefully for them they have a lead and they can bring in Jonathan Holder to close it out ... Brian Carroll draws a leadoff walk and Kevin Kramer should be up there bunting now ... In talking with Mississippi State head coach John Cohen yesterday about UCLA's pitching staff, time and time again the conversation came back to David Berg -- UCLA's closer. He told us that they better score some runs in situations before Berg is in the game. You know those coaches are thinking about that ... Carroll steals his 31st bag of the year as Kramer lines out weakly to the second baseman Pirtle for the first out ... Eric Filia grounds out for the second out as Pat Valaika comes up with a runner on third and two outs ... Girodo strikes out Valaika to end the inning as UCLA moves to 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position. The way these teams play, one gets the feeling that may com eback and bite them.
B6: Christoph Bono comes in the game to play LF for the Bruins, replacing Brenton Allen ... Plutko has gotten the best of Hunter Renfroe as he's now 0-for-3 after popping out to shortstop. Give Renfroe credit, though, as he was busting all the way around first and would've been at second had Valaika dropped it -- which wasn't too far from a possibility. One out for Brett Pirtle ... Pirtle rips a line drive past Plutko and into CF for his second hit of the night. He's got two of the team's three hits. Here's Wes Rea as the tying run ... Plutko gets Rea to sky one a mile high to RF for the second out. Pirtle's still at first base with C.T. Bradford up ... Bradford skies one to LF that new LF Christoph Bono catches for the final out of the inning. Plutko is at 92 pitches (60 for strikes) through six innings.
T6: Again two quick outs for Girodo here in the sixth. The second came on a great diving stab by Brett Pirtle to rob Cody Regis of a hit. Two outs and nobody on for Brenton Allen ... Girodo strikes out Allen for his seventh in 4.2 innings pitched. He's struck out double digits in three consecutive outings in relief. Let's see if he can make it four as we go to the bottom of the sixth.
B5: Nick Ammirati lifts a ball to deep right to leadoff the fifth but Eric Filia makes a fantastic running grab at the edge of the warning track for the first out. Ammirati doesn't have much power -- just one homer and is slugging .284 coming into this one. That's probably about as far as he could hit it ... Demarcus Henderson lines one off Adam Plutko's glove that is called an error -- tough call on Plutko for his fifth error in just 24 chances. His shortstop Pat Valaika has six all season. Either way, Henderson is on first with one out and back to the top of the order we go with Adam Frazier ... MSU's sparkplug is now 0-for-3 as Frazier flies out for the second out. It's left in the hands of Alex Detz ... James Kaprielian is warming in the UCLA bullpen ... And Plutko balks Henderson over to second base. That's the first balk of the 2013 CWS ... Detz rips a 3-2 pitch right at 2B Cody Regis to end the inning. MSU has left four on and is 0-for-2 with RISP throught five.
T5: Two quick outs for Girodo as he gets Valaika and Gallagher ... Kevin Williams strikes out swinging to end the inning. That's Mississippi State's first 1-2-3 inning of the night as Girodo sits at 69 pitches through 3.2 innings in relief.
B4: One pitch and one out for Plutko here in the fourth as Frazier flies out to LF ... And there it is, Alex Detz lines a single up th emiddle for the first Bulldog hit of th egame. That brings up Hunter Renfroe ... And Mississippi State's best hitter strikes out swinging for the second out ... With two outs, Brett Pirtle singles to put two on with two out for Wes Rea -- who has been the Bulldogs best clutch hitter this postseason ... Rea gets hit in the elbow protector to load the bases. Rough inning for Rea in the bruise department. Bases loaded for C.T. Bradford and the whole outfield crowd is standing chanting "Maroon!" "White!" as if this is a football game. Great atmosphere ... With the whole crowd on its feet on a 3-2 pitch after he fouled off three in a row, Plutko walks Bradford (27th RBI) to get the Bulldogs on the board ... Trey Porter rips a liner to RF but it's right at Eric Filia to end the inning as MSU leaves the bases loaded. Plutko had 34 pitches coming into the innin gbut throws 30 in the inning. At least he limited the damage. 3-1 UCLA.
T4: A one-out single by Brenton Allen and UCLA has its fifth hit of the night already. Back to the top we go with Brian Carroll ... And Carroll lays down a bunt that catcher Ammirati throws into the baseline and Carroll collides with first baseman Wes Rea. The ball goes down the line and Allen goes all the way to third. It looked really bad but Rea stays in the game at first and charge an error to Ammirati for throwing the ball away. So, runners on the corners with one out ... Kevin Kramer strikes out swinging for the second out -- that's four K's for Girodo ... Carroll takes off for second and steals it without a throw. Two now in scoring position for Eric Filia with two out ... UCLA comes up with a huge, clutch hit as Filia lines a single to RF to score two unearned runs on a two-strike pitch. Filia is thrown out as MSU throws behind him and he's tagged out 9-3-6-3 ... 3-0 UCLA.
B3: A nifty play by Cody Regis at second base keeps Nick Ammirati off the basepaths and Plutko gets Demarcus Henderson to ground out to second as well to end the inning. Here's the jinx: Plutko is perfect through three innings.
T3: Girodo hits his second batter of the game to lead off the third as Eric Filia is on for the second time. Here's Pat Valaika ... There's Valaika with his second hit of the night as he pokes one through the right side. First and second with nobody out for Pat Gallagher ... Huge out by Girodo to get Gallagher swinging for the first out ... And Kevin Williams flies out to CF for the second out. Will UCLA leave two more on? ... They do, as Shane Zeile grounds out to short to end the inning. UCLA has left on six and are just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position through three innings. Might come back to bite them.
B2: Plutko gets Mississippi State in order and has thrown just 25 pitches (18 for strikes) through two innings.
T2: Shane Zeile legs out an infield single to SS to start the inning fo rthe Bruins' third hit of the night ... Cody Regis follows with a chopper to short but all Adam Frazier could do is throw to first since Zeile was put in motion. UCLA with a runner in scoring position with one out for Brenton Allen ... And that's it for Fitts as coach Cohen takes his starter out with a 2-2 count on Allen. In comes Chad Girodo (9-1, 1.56) ... He blows away Allen on the first pitch and gets credit for the strikeout. That's right -- a one-pitch strikeout. Unusual. Back to the top of the order as Brian Carroll will hit with a runner still on second with two outs ... Carroll gets hit by a pitch with two strikes to put two on for Kevin Kramer ... Girodo gets Kramer on a weak grounder to first that Wes Rea had to make another great play on and flip to Girodo who was covering first. UCLA can't capitalize as they leave two on.
B1: Adam Frazier leads off by lining a ball to LF that Brenton Allen catches. He struggled a bit with the sun but he was able to recover and make the play. ... Alex Detz grounds out to second and Plutko has retired the first two. Here comes Hunter Renfroe ... Plutko strikes out Renfroe to end the inning as the Bulldogs go in order.
T1: Fitts starts the game off right by striking out Brian Carroll as the fans in general admission do the roll call around the diamond for the Bulldogs. This is as close to a home game as I've ever seen in Omaha in my eight years ... Fitts strikes out Kevin Kramer but the ball gets away from catcher Nick Ammirati as he takes first on the play ... This is how UCLA has won games -- they make you pay almost every time ... Sure enough, Eric Filia lines a double to LF to setup second and third with one out for Pat Valaika ... And right on cue, Valaika lines a single to center to drive in the first run. Runners on the corners with one out ... Chad Girodo is already throwing in the Bulldogs bullpen as Pat Gallagher is now the batter ... Fitts strikes out his third batter of the inning, but only for the second out. Here's Kevin Williams with two outs and the runners still on the corners. ... Wes Rea makes a fantastic diving grab on a grounder to the right side and flips to Fitts to end the threat after a 24-pitch inning (20 for strikes) ... 1-0 UCLA.
Pregame: Here are the starting pitchers for Game 1 of the CWS finals. For visiting UCLA, it'll be righty Adam Plutko (9-3, 2.29). Plutko shut down LSU in his first start in Omaha, going 7.0 innings and yielding just four hits and one run. For Mississippi State, Trevor Fitts takes the mound (0-0, 2.86) for his sixth start of the year. Fitts went 2.1 innings in a start against Indiana on June 17 and struck out a career-high four batters.
Pregame: Welcome to Starkville, Neb. ... Sorry, I mean Omaha, Neb. In the last two days, Omaha has been infiltrated by a ton of Mississippi State fans and they are already loud and proud around town. General admission looks about 95 percent maroon as well. The weather for tonight: it's 82 degrees and mostly cloudy with the wind once again blowing in from CF.
Mississippi State's lineup posted no strikeouts against Oregon State on Friday. It was the first time in the CWS that a team did not strike out since 2001 when Stanford did not strikeout against Cal State Fullerton and the first time the Bulldogs hadn't struck out in a game since 2006. ... MSU has 30 home runs on the season with Renfroe accounting for 16 of them, including his three-run home run on Friday. ... The Bulldogs improved to 28-0 when holding opponents under two runs.
The UCLA-Mississippi State CWS matchup will be the fifth time in CWS history that the Pac-12 and SEC have played each other in the finals (other years: 1977, 2000, 2010, 2012 and 2013). ... In three CWS games, UCLA’s starting pitchers have 20 innings pitched with a total of 12 hits, three walks and two earned runs for an ERA of 0.90.