This story originally appeared in UCLA Today, a discontinued publication.

UCLA Bruins win 109th national NCAA title -- their first in baseball

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UCLA athletic teams had already won the most national championships of any NCAA school, but never the baseball title — until tonight. The Bruins closed that gap in their legacy of sports excellence by sweeping the College World Series in Omaha.

The Bruins defeated Mississippi State by a score of 8-0 to secure the 109th national title in the history of UCLA sports. That is a new NCAA record. A celebration is scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. in Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Starting pitcher Nick Vander Tuig dominated the Mississippi State lineup for eight innings, shutting them down on five hits and one walk. Closer David Berg finished the game with a perfect ninth inning. The Bruins took the lead in the first inning after lead-off hitter Brian Carroll was hit by a pitch and came around to score. The Bruins racked up their eight runs on 12 hits. Rightfielder Eric Filia drove in five runs.

The Bruins won 11 consecutive games to finish their season, including all ten postseason games. UCLA allowed one run or less in its final six postseason games and just seven runs in its last eight games. UCLA finished the baseball season with a record of 49-17.
 
Baseball has been a prominent sport at UCLA since Jackie Robinson played for the Bruins. In addition to Robinson, who broke the major league baseball color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, Bruins who have gone on to play professionally include Eric Karros, the all-time home run leader for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and former Angels star Troy Glaus. Chase Utley, a fixture on the Philadelphia Phillies, is still playing. Pitcher Gerrit Cole was the top pick in baseball's 2011 player draft and now pitches for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Bruins had reached the College World Series in two of the previous three years before finally winning it all Tuesday night in a game televised nationally on ESPN.
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