A capsulized look at Game 8 of the College World Series, set for a 7 p.m. start on Tuesday.
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>> Pitcher: RH Nick Vander Tuig (12-4, 2.37 ERA, 81 strikeouts)
>> Top hitters: RF Eric Filia (.279, 13 2Bs, 26 RBIs, .387 on-base percentage); 3B Kevin Kramer (.279, 3 HRs, 40 RBIs); SS Pat Valaika (.252, 13 2Bs, 5 HRs, 44 RBIs, .397 slugging percentage)
>> How they got here: The Bruins dazzled on the mound and in the field while taking advantage of LSU mistakes in the 2-1 opening win.
>> Trends: UCLA hasn’t lost in six tournament games despite having five of the nine regular starters hitting .211, .182, .176, .174 and .150. On the flip side, Filia is averaging two hits per game and hitting .522 in NCAA play, while Pat Gallagher has driven in seven of the team’s 27 runs while hitting .450.
>> UCLA will win if: The Bruins keep making pitches and plays. UCLA’s well-documented offensive shortcomings leave the Bruins with little margin for error, but that hasn’t kept them from advancing within two wins of playing for a national championship.
North Carolina State (50-14)
>> Pitcher: RH Ethan Ogburn (5-3, 2.70 ERA), RH Logan Jernigan (1-0, 1.19 ERA) or LH Brad Stone (3-2, 5.28 ERA)
>> Top hitters: SS Trea Turner (.376, 13 2Bs, 4 3Bs, 7 HRs, 41 RBIs, .566 slugging percentage, 28 SBs); RF Jake Fincher (.322, 0 HRs, 29 RBIs, 14 SBs); 1B Tarran Senay (.289, 16 2Bs, 8 HRs, 59 RBIs, .466 slugging percentage)
>> How they got here: The Wolfpack found there’s no finer place to hand your in-state rival a humbling loss than at the CWS. North Carolina State evened the season series at two with its 8-1 throttling of North Carolina in the opening round.
>> Trends: The Wolfpack has played clean baseball in 61 of 62 innings in the NCAA tournament. North Carolina State has committed just three errors in the tournament, but all came in the eighth inning against William & Mary in the regional-clinching win. North Carolina State’s fielding percentage in its six tournament games is an outstanding .987.
>> North Carolina State will win if: The Wolfpack can build on their impressive debut. Instead of a struggling starter, as North Carolina State faced in North Carolina’s Kent Emanuel, the Wolfpack will be facing an aggressive pitcher in UCLA’s Vander Tuig. He likely won’t give the Wolfpack hitters many openings, but they’ll have to be ready to capitalize when they arise.