Riding a combination of opportunistic offense, good defense, and excellent pitching, the UCLA baseball team has put itself in great position to advance out of bracket play into the championship series of the College World Series.
Only one challenge remains for the Bruins, but that challenge is a doozy.
Tonight, UCLA will take on top-seeded North Carolina for the opportunity to advance to the best-of-three championship series.
By virtue of winning all of their games so far, the Bruins can afford a loss to the Tar Heels if they subsequently win a rematch tomorrow. If the Bruins win tonight, however, they'll automatically advance to the finals.
The Bruins have gotten to this point by winning a couple of very low-scoring contests. UCLA has scored a total of four runs during their first two games, a pair of 2-1 victories over LSU and North Carolina State.
It's no secret that UCLA lacks offensive punch, but the confines of TD Ameritrade Park may be helping the Bruins more than many of the more high-powered offenses. With home runs effectively negated by the park, UCLA's defense has swallowed up plenty of long fly balls, and the Bruins have been able to squeeze out enough runs to put them over the top.
After an early slip up against North Carolina State, the Tar Heels have rattled off a pair of wins, and have some momentum heading into tonight's game, having beaten the Wolfpack in their second game by a score of 7-0. UNC is the top seed in the tournament, and represents UCLA's toughest matchup to date.
UCLA last made it to the finals of the College World Series three years ago, where the Bruins were defeated by South Carolina. The Bruins are competing in their second consecutive College World Series, and third in four years, an unprecedented run in UCLA baseball history.
If the Bruins do advance past North Carolina, they'll face the winner of Oregon State and Mississippi State beginning June 24th.
Game time is 5:00 P.M., and the game will be televised by ESPN.
UCLA Set to Face Top-Seeded North Carolina
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