Published June 18, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. – UCLA's Nick Vander Tuig was good.
Konner Wade was great.
Wade pitched a five-hit shutout, Arizona did its scoring on five straight fourth-inning hits, and the Wildcats beat their Pac-12 rivals 4-0 in the College World Series on Sunday night.
"Really the difference in the game was that five-hitter stretch," Bruins coach John Savage said. "That was it. It was pretty quiet from both sides the whole evening."
Outside of the fourth inning, Vander Tuig allowed only one hit in 6 1-3 innings. He struck out eight and walked one.
All UCLA could muster against Wade was five singles, including three in a row that loaded the bases in the fifth inning but resulted in no runs.
The win puts the Wildcats (45-17) in control of Bracket 1 and gives them three days off. They are one victory away from the best-of-three finals, in which they would play for their fourth national championship and first since 1986.
UCLA (48-15), which lost for the first time in 11 games, will play Florida State in an elimination game on Tuesday.
"It's all about taking blows at the College World Series," Savage said. "It's not a dagger. It's a blow. We'll move on and we'll be ready to play on Tuesday night."
Wade (10-3) outdueled Vander Tuig (10-4), throwing his first career shutout and fifth complete game of the season. It was Arizona's sixth shutout in 62 CWS games and its first since Craig Lefferts blanked Michigan in 1980.
Seth Mejias-Brean's bases-loaded single drove in the Wildcats' first two runs, and Bobby Brown followed with a two-RBI double.
"I thought I made some good pitches," Vander Tuig said. "You've got to give them credit. I messed up a couple times, which hurt me, and they put good swings on it."
UCLA had handed Wade his first loss of the season when it knocked him out after three innings of a 15-3 win in Tucson, Ariz., on April 14.
Wade, who threw a complete game in Arizona's super regional-clinching win over St. John's in his previous start, allowed only five singles and ran into trouble just once.
UCLA went three up, three down in the first four innings before breaking through after two outs in the fifth. Pat Valaika, Cody Regis and Kevin Kramer hit consecutive singles to load the bases, but Kevin Williams flied out to end the inning.
Wade walked one and struck out four in a 109-pitch outing in which he threw 79 strikes.
"He pitched as well as anybody we've seen all year," Savage said.
The four runs in the fourth were the most Vander Tuig had surrendered in an inning this season.
Johnny Field, who had the game-winning double in Friday's 4-3, 12-inning win over Florida State, singled with one out for Arizona's first hit. Alex Mejia and Robert Refsnyder had base hits before Mejias-Brean drove in the first two runs with a hit into right-center. Brown brought in two more runs with a double.
Arizona has won 15 of 17 games and has four shutouts this season.
UCLA, which had outscored opponents 42-10 in six previous NCAA tournament games, was shut out for the second time.
Arizona and UCLA, which shared the Pac-12 championship, faced each other for the first time in the CWS.
The Wildcats evened the season series at two games apiece.