College baseball World Series finals pit SEC vs. Pac-12 again
Omaha, Neb. • It's the Southeastern Conference vs. the Pac-12 for the second straight year in the finals of the College World Series.
Mississippi State and UCLA will square off in the best-of-three starting Monday at TD Ameritrade Park after each went unbeaten in winning its bracket.
UCLA survived a rocky ninth inning to eliminate No. 1 national seed North Carolina with a 4-1 win on Friday night. The Bulldogs got a three-run homer from Hunter Renfroe and defeated Oregon State 4-1 in the afternoon.
Mississippi State beat Oregon State twice in bracket play a fact that did not go unnoticed by Bruins coach John Savage.
Oregon State won two of three against the Bruins in Los Angeles while winning the Pac-12 championship.
"To beat Oregon State, we know how good Oregon State is. They're good," Savage said. "And to do what they did against them twice, it goes to show that they're a little better than them. So we're going to respect the game.
"We're going to respect the opponent. We're going to respect the next two days in terms of preparation, getting ourselves ready and do what we do."
The Bruins (47-17) are in the finals for the second time, and first since getting swept by South Carolina in 2010.
Mississippi State (51-18) is in the finals for the first time. Each team will be playing for its first national championship in baseball.
"I know it sounds crazy, but our kids just think something good is going to happen and, by the way, our coaches do, too," Bulldogs coach John Cohen said. "I think these guys are on a little bit of a roll for sure."
The Pac-12's Arizona beat the SEC's South Carolina to win the national title a year ago. Teams from the Pac-12 and SEC have faced off in the finals three of the last four years.
College World Series schedule
O Championship series (best out of three)
Teams • Mississippi State vs. UCLA
When • Monday, Tuesday (Wednesday if necessary), all games at 6 p.m.