BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi State's win streak end Monday night at six when UCLA held off the Bulldogs in the opening game of the College World Series.
UCLA can wrap up its first-ever baseball national championship by winning one of the final two games of the best-of-three series. Mississippi State can bounce back and beat the Bruins on Tuesday to force a final deciding game Wednesday night in Omaha.
It can be done and the Bulldogs have the support of the fans to rally. 10,000 Mississippi State fans converged on TD Ameritrade Park with an overflow crowd of 25,690 in attendance.
"I thought we played a very good baseball team," Mississippi State head coach John Cohen said. "We had 12 strikeouts and they only had two. You are supposed to win those kinds of games. I thought some things didn't go our way, but that is how the game works.
UCLA (48-17) posted a 9th straight postseason victory as starting pitcher Adam Plutko (10-3) held Mississippi State to a run on four hits in six innings. Closer Dave Berg got the final outs for his 24th save of the season, tops in the nation.
Bulldogs reliever Chad Girodo pitched a season-best 7.2 innings, allowed three hits and two runs, with nine strikeouts. Trevor Fitts was the starting pitcher for Mississippi State but pulled with one out in the top of the second and UCLA leading 1-0.
"You have to make your luck in this game, " Cohen stated. "They made the most of their opportunities. We still have a great chance to come back and win the series."