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College World Series Finals: UCLA Wins

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UCLA Wins the 2013 College World Series.

To recap the entire NCAA post-season tournament with links to my previous posts:

CWS Finals:

  • Game 1: UCLA’s #1/Friday starter Adam Plutko pitched 6 innings of solid one-run ball and the Bruins got just enough from the Trevor Fitts/Chad Girodo Mississippi State combo starter offering to take the first game 3-1 (box/gamer).  Plutko, an 11th round pick by Cleveland, wasn’t overly dominant (just 2 strikeouts) but was effective and the UCLA bullpen shut down the Bulldog offense.
  • Game 2: UCLA’s #2/Saturday starter Nick Vander Tuig completed the two-game sweep with 8 shut-out innings while Mississippi State’s rotational depth issues were exposed badly.  UCLA battered the bullpen-by-committee efforts and won the game and championship with ease 8-0.

UCLA just had the better pitching.  Mississippi State’s missing friday starter and then the subsequent burning of their saturday starter (best remaining starter) to get to the final ended up costing them dearly.

Written by Todd Boss

June 27th, 2013 at 11:22 am

College World Series Update; The final is set

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Here’s an update of where we are in the 2013 College World Series (CWS).  We’re to the CWS final, having had the 8 competitors whittled to just two.

To recap the entire NCAA post-season tournament with links to previous posts:

A couple helpful resources for those who want to follow the College game: here’s a link to the CWS schedule page at, which I use as the best way to quickly find all the core college site data.  And here’s the best (only?) College Baseball blog out there:

CWS Field: here’s the two Original Brackets.

  • Bracket 1: UNC, NC State, UCLA, LSU
  • Bracket 2: Mississippi State, Oregon State, Indiana, Louisville

Days 5-6:

  • Results: Two elimination Games.  Oregon State v Indiana, and UNC v NC State.
  • Oregon State shut down Indiana in one loser’s bracket elimination game 1-0 behind a complete game 4-hitter from senior lefty Ace/Friday starter Matt Boyd.   Boyd improved to 13-4 on the season in what may have been his last collegiate start; he was a 6th round pick by Toronto.   Boyd out-dueled fellow Ace/Friday starter Aaron Sledgers, himself a 5th round pick by Minnesota, who finishes his 2013 season 9-2 after giving up just one run on 7 hits for his complete game loss.
  • UNC got a couple of runs on NC State’s ace starter Carlos Rodon (pitching on 3-days rest and on a pitch count limit) and #3/Sunday starter Hobbs Johnson made it stand up, throwing 8 1/3 shutout innings in the start of his career as UNC took the loser-bracket final 7-0 (box/gamer).  Johnson is an undersized lefty with decent velocity picked in the 14th round by Milwaukee.   By throwing their #3 starter, UNC can come back with their #1 Kent Emanuel and #2 Trent Thornton ready to go to try to beat UCLA twice to make the final.

Days 7-8:

  • Results: Bracket Finals: Mississippi State over Oregon State 4-1, and UCLA over UNC by the same score.
  • Mississippi State got to Oregon State starter Andrew Moore, hanging him with just his second loss of the season and their big-time hitter Hunter Renfroe hit a 3-run homer to win the game for the SEC team (box).
  • UNC’s Emanuel didn’t pitch badly (6ip, 1 earned run) but threw far too many pitches (112 pitches through six innings) while the Tar Heel’s offense couldn’t touch UCLA’s #3/Sunday starter Grant Watson, and UCLA cruised into the CWS final (box).

CWS Bracket Results: here’s the final standings of each of the two CWS Brackets:

Bracket 1:

  • 1st place: #12 UCLA
  • 2nd Place: #1 UNC
  • 3rd Place: #9 NC State
  • 4th Place: #4 LSU

Bracket 2:

  • 1st place: #11 Mississippi State
  • 2nd Place: #3 Oregon State
  • 3rd Place: #10 Indiana
  • 4th Place: #15 Louisville

Where do we stand in the tournament now/What’s next?

  • The final is set: Mississippi State and UCLA will play a 3-game set starting tonight 6/24, 6/25 and (if necessary) 6/26.
  • UCLA’s pitching staff is set up perfectly for the 3-game set, with Ace Adam Plutko set to go on 6/24 with more than a week’s rest since his 6/16 victory.  If the series goes all three games, none of UCLA’s starters will be on anything other than regular rest.  Meanwhile Mississippi State’s “rotation” has been a patchwork the entire post-season; their #1/friday starter Luis Pollorena hurt himself in the regionals and has only thrown a handful of innings in the CWS.  We havn’t seen their #3/sunday starter Jacob Lindgren the entire post-season.  The team has leaned heavily on #2/Saturday starter Kendal Graveman, who has now started four of their post season games (including two games in the Bracket) and on a couple of bullpen guys in Trevor Fitts and Chad Girodo to make up the innings (the Fitts/Girodo combo likely starts tonight).  Graveman would be on 4-days rest for the 2nd game, 5 days rest for a 3rd game in the CWS final but likely will not pitch the opener.
  • Is this a compelling CWS final?  The 3rd place PAC-12 team and a team that finished a distant 3rd in its division (and was barely over .500 in conference play) in the SEC?   I would have loved to see a Vanderbilt-UNC or a Vanderbilt-LSU SEC grudge match in the final.  I would have liked to see an ACC team at least challenge for the title to try to break their big winless streak.  That being said, both teams were very good; Mississippi State was a 50 win team, UCLA a 47-win team.

Prediction: I think UCLA’s pitching staff is setup and rested while Mississippi State’s staff is in disarray and will be tired.  I think this will make the difference as UCLA takes it in 3.