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UC Irvine outlasts Oklahoma St, heads to CWS

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 8, 2014 at 1:20 am •  Published: June 8, 2014
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STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — No underdog. No Cinderella team.

UC Irvine realizes it's on a terrific run, but the Anteaters don't need any such labels. They just keep on winning.

Andrew Morales pitched a five-hit shutout to lead UC Irvine to a 1-0 victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday night that clinched the super regional series and sent the Anteaters to the College World Series.

UC Irvine (40-23) advanced to Omaha for first time since 2007 and just the second time overall since becoming a Division I program in 2002.

The two-game sweep continues an unlikely run for the Anteaters, who entered the Corvallis regional last week as the No. 3 seed having lost six straight and eight of nine. But they upset national No. 1 seed Oregon State to advance.

"In those eight losses, we were on the other side of this type of game five times," UC Irvine coach Mike Gillespie said. "A loss is a loss, but the fact is, we did play well and we really pitched well. So the fact that we've done well (since), it's really not as big a shock as it looks like, because our pitching has really given us chances time after time."

Morales earned his third postseason victory in eight days, striking out eight and walking two in nine innings. The Anteaters scored the game's only run in the first inning on Jonathan Munoz's RBI double, and Morales made it stand.

"Just execute pitches, keep the ball down and they can't hurt you," said Morales, who recorded wins over UNLV and Oregon State in the regionals and is now 11-2 on the year. "I trusted my curveball today and my slider. Those have been my two best pitches all year. It was a great game to be a part of."

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