UCLA has one foot in the College World Series Championship Series, but they still have to get another foot in the door if they want to play Mississippi St. for a national title and that other foot is currently being tugged on by North Carolina. The Tar Heels were the No. 1 national seed, but a loss to NC State in their Omaha opener doomed them to the loser's bracket. Two wins later and their hopes are still alive, but they have to beat UCLA twice more to advance to the Championship Series, while the Bruins just have to win one.
Hopefully, that one UCLA win comes tonight.
The Bruins will send Grant Watson to the mound with the hope that he can quiet a powerful Tar Heels offense. The sophomore is 8-3 with a 3.22 ERA and while he hasn't thrown since June 2, he tossed seven innings of one-hit ball to win the Los Angeles Regional for UCLA that day. UNC will counter with their ace Kent Emanuel, who went 11-4 with an identical 3.22 ERA this season, but didn't make it out of the third inning in either of his last two starts, including five days ago in Omaha.
The game gets underway at 5 p.m. PT and is live on ESPN so tune in and chime in here, your gamethread, to see if UCLA can head back to the Championship series for the second time in four years.