Omaha, NE – Pat Valaika hit a two-run double and Grant Wilson threw six scoreless innings to help UCLA defeat North Carolina, 4-1, on Friday to earn the Bruins a spot in the NCAA College World Series finals and send the Tar Heels home packing.
Kevin Williams had two hits and drove in one run and Cody Regis provided an RBI single for the Bruins, who improved to 8-0 in this year's NCAA postseason and advanced to the best-of-three games championship final series versus Mississippi State beginning Monday.
Watson allowed just four hits and walked one to earn the win, while closer David Berg survived a late UNC rally attempt to secure the victory.
Mike Zolk drove in UNC's lone run with bases-loaded groundout to second in the ninth, while Berg worked around a bases-loaded jam to force a Landon Lassiter fly out to end the game.
Kent Emanuel absorbed the loss, allowing two runs -- one earned -- and three walks over six frames for the top-seeded Tar Heels, who blanked in-state rival North Carolina State, 7-0, on Thursday to stay alive in Omaha.
The Bruins, meanwhile, improved to 30-1 this season when holding opponents to two runs or fewer.
UCLA plated its first run in the second. After Pat Gallagher and Williams hit back-to-back one-out singles, Regis fought a tough two-out at-bat versus Emanuel and smacked a chopper through the right side to make it 1-0.
The Bruins added a run in the sixth thanks to Eric Filia reaching to start the inning on an error from UNC first baseman Cody Stubbs. Filia moved to second on Valaika's sacrifice bunt and went to third on Pat Gallagher's single to left. Williams followed with a run-scoring single up the middle to make it 2-0.
UCLA tacked on two insurance runs in the seventh, as Valaika doubled off UNC reliever Trevor Kelly to bring home Brian Carroll and Filia, who both walked earlier in the frame.
Earlier Friday, Hunter Renfroe hit a three-run homer to fuel Mississippi State's 4-1 victory over Oregon State to help the Bulldogs reach their first ever CWS final.
Kendall Graveman tossed 5 2/3 innings of effective ball, scattering four hits and one run for the win.
Andy Peterson's sixth-inning RBI single was all the offense for the Beavers, who had scored just two runs in their last two games after an 11-4 blowout decision over Louisville.
Renfroe broke open the contest in the fifth with a three-run shot to left that put the Bulldogs up 4-0 and allowed MSU to cruise to the win.