The 25,543 in attendance watched as the Bruins and Wolfpack engaged in a pitchers duel and struggled offensively throughout, managing just 5 hits apiece.
"Well, I mean, what can you say? Right now I guess that's who we are," said UCLA skipper John Savage. "I mean, it's Bruin baseball. Sometimes it's grueling, it's tough to watch, I'm sure, from outside the dugout. But our kids hung in there and they persevered."
NC State struck first in the bottom of the third inning. The Wolfpack Bryan Adametz was hit by a pitch to start the inning and moved to second on a single by Jake Armstrong. A bunt sacrifice advanced both runners 90 feet and single by Trea Turner drove in Adametz for the game's first run.
Assisted by two walks, UCLA grabbed the lead in the top of the fifth. With one down, senior Cody Regis drew a walk off and advanced to second on a single to center field by Brenton Allen. After Brian Carroll then drew another walk to load the bases, Kevin Kramer drove a single into to center field to plate the Bruins first run. Following a Eric Filia pop out and an intentional walk to reload the bases, Allen scored from third on a wild pitch to give UCLA a trim 2-1 lead.
UCLA's Nick Vander Tuig (13-4) threw an impressive 7 innings, allowing just 1 earned run on four hits, while striking out six and issuing no walks.
"Well, great baseball game," said NC State head coach Elliott Avent. "What we knew would happen, what we talked about in practice yesterday. UCLA's going to give you absolutely nothing, and they didn't."
After Vander Tuig gave up a single to start the eighth, reliever David Berg, who has pitched in each of UCLA's last 14 NCAA appearances, came in to close the door on the Wolfpack. However, it wasn't without some excitement. Berg hit the first batter he faced and then with two on, NC State's Jake Armstrong hit a deep shot to left field that appeared as if it might clear the wall, but Christoph Bono chased it down on the warning track to end the potential rally.
"We would never be here without him," Savage said of Berg. "So we're going to go down with him. He's one of those guys that he works extremely hard at what he does."
In the bottom of the ninth, the Wolfpack threatened with a one-out single by Tarran Senay, but were unable to muster any more activity on the base paths. Berg struck out the next two batters to pick up his second save in Omaha and his 24th of the season.
"We really didn't do much offensively," said Savage. "You have to give their pitchers a ton of credit. They pounded the zone. And we were opportunistic, would be the right word, I guess. And pitching and defense, I think, is clearly our strength. Our guys know our strength, and sometimes it's walking a tightrope. That's for sure and tonight was one of those nights, so we feel very fortunate to beat a very good North Carolina State team."
UCLA advances to the bracket two championship on Friday at 5:00 pm (PT), where it will meet the winner of the North Carolina - NC State Thursday night contest.