MSU-UCLA Pregame: Bulldogs Look to Survive, Keep Title Hopes Alive

OMAHA, Neb. | Previewing Game 2 of the College World Series finals between MSU and UCLA.

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• First pitch: 7 p.m.

• TV: ESPN (Mike PatrickOrel HershiserKyle Peterson in booth; Kaylee HartungJessica Mendoza on field)

• Records: MSU 51-19, UCLA 48-17

• Pitching matchup: MSU LHP Luis Pollorena (6-3, 4.32) vs. UCLA RHP Nick Vander Tuig (13-4, 2.31)

• MSU lineup: SS Adam Frazier, DH Alex Detz, RF Hunter Renfroe, 2B Brett Pirtle, 1B Wes Rea, CF C.T. Bradford, 3B Sam Frost, C Nick Ammirati, LF Demarcus Henderson

• UCLA lineup: CF Brian Carroll, 3B Kevin Kramer, RF Eric Filia, SS Pat Valaika, 1B Pat Gallagher, DH Kevin Williams, C Shane Zeile, 2B Cody Regis, LF Brenton Allen

• What to watch for: The Bulldogs’ season is on the line, having to win tonight and tomorrow to claim their first national championship. MSU is the visiting team, and that could bode well, because the visiting team is 10-3 during this CWS. On the other hand, since this event went to a best-of-three championship series, the Game 1 winner has won the title eight of 10 times, including six sweeps. Pollorena, a senior, is making his first appearance since June 1, when he started and went 3 2/3 innings versus South Alabama in the Starkville Regional. He allowed two runs on four hits with no strikeouts and a walk. In his last outing, one week ago against N.C. State, Vander Tuig allowed one run on four hits in seven innings, with six strikeouts and no walks. UCLA has given up one run in each of its four games here.

• Pregame playlist: A few songs from my iPod to set the tone…

–”A Country Boy Can Survive,” Hank Williams Jr.

–”White Line Fever,” Merle Haggard

–”Fast As You,” Dwight Yoakam

–”When and Where,” Confederate Railroad

–”God’s Gonna Cut You Down,” Johnny Cash

I am the online content coordinator for DJournal.com. Previously at the Journal, I covered Mississippi State athletics (2008-13), high schools (2004-08), and was on the copy desk (2002-04). I'm working on a recipe for bacon-flavored coffee, which would solve all the world's problems.

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