Bruins Squeak Past Pack, 2-1

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Never has a team swinging metal bats produced so few runs through two College World Series games yet found itself in such an enviable position.

These UCLA Bruins are proving that in this day and age of college baseball, pitching and defense, more than ever, can be a winning formula.

It showed again Tuesday night in the Bruins' 2-1 victory over North Carolina State. That, by the way, was the same score of UCLA's Sunday night win over LSU.

"It's Bruin baseball," coach John Savage said. "Sometimes it's grueling, and it's tough to watch, I'm sure. Our kids hung in there. We were opportunistic. It's like walking a tight rope, that's for sure."

The Bruins' four runs so far are the fewest by a team that won its first two games in Omaha in the metal-bat era. The previous record was six, by Eastern Michigan in 1976 and South Carolina in 1977.

Arizona State scored three runs while winning its first two games in 1972, but that was in the days of wood bats. Metal was introduced in 1974.

UCLA (46-17) scored its runs against NC State (50-15) in the fifth inning using two walks, two singles and a wild pitch.

"It's more a mentality for us, taking advantage of opportunities," said Kevin Kramer, who hit the tying single. "We're not going to put up any gaudy numbers. It does get a little frustrating at times, but when you have great pitchers like this, we know we can put up a couple of runs and play defense because we know these guys will take us a long way."

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