There will be a third game between UCLA and Texas Christian. Matt Purke, TCU's highly-touted lefty, made sure of it.
The Bruins' bats never going against Purke, the former first-round pick who was 15-0 heading into Friday afternoon's game. UCLA, a win away from the final round, didn't get a ball out of the infield until the fourth inning and didn't register a hit until the fifth. Purke surrendered two runs and only three hits and UCLA lost for the first time in the CWS, 6-2, to set up a tense final game between the two teams.
UCLA's own left-hander, Rob Rasmussen, failed to be as good as Purke when he needed to be. Nearly two weeks after tossing a complete game against Cal State Fullerton to book UCLA's trip to the College World Series, the junior struggled through 4 1/3 innings, laboring for 95 pitches and giving up three runs and six hits.
Senior right-hander Garett Claypool, playing for the first time in nearly a month, didn't fare any better. He gave up three runs in relief of Rasmussen.
UCLA had a shot at the game when it trailed by one in the seventh, but Beau Amaral struck out with the bases loaded to end the threat. TCU would tag Claypool for home runs in the seventh and eighth innings to pull away.
The elimination game between UCLA and TCU is Saturday, with the winner advancing to the championship round. If South Carolina forces another game by beating Clemson on Friday night, the Bruins and Horned Frogs take the field at 11 a.m. PT Saturday. If Clemson closes out its side of the bracket, Saturday's game is at 4 p.m. PT.