College baseball • Bruins head to championship round.
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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.
Mississippi St. 4, Oregon St. 1 • Hunter Renfroe hit a three-run homer off the back wall of the left-field bullpen, and Mississippi State advanced to the College World Series finals with a victory over Oregon State.
The Bulldogs (51-18) beat the Beavers for the second time in the CWS and will play for the first time in the best-of-three championship round that starts Monday against UCLA.
Oregon State (52-13) went 2-2 in its first CWS appearance since winning back-to-back national titles in 2006-07.
Renfroe's homer off freshman left-hander Andrew Moore (14-2) was only the third in 11 CWS games and put the Bulldogs up 4-0 in the fifth.
Kendall Graveman (7-5) worked the first 52⁄3 innings, allowing one run on four hits. Ross Mitchell and Jonathan Holder finished, with Holder getting the last two outs for his 21st save of the season and school-record 30th of his career.
It's the sixth straight year a team from the Southeastern Conference has reached the finals.
College World Series
O Friday's games
• Mississippi St. 4, Oregon St. 1
• UCLA 4, North Carolina 1
• Mississippi State vs. UCLA , 6 p.m.