Morales leads UCI to Omaha

A first-inning run and Andrew Morales' usual brilliance paved the road to Omaha for the UC Irvine baseball team Saturday night.

Morales, a highly decorated senior right-hander, was dominant on the hill at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., tossing a five-hit shutout in leading UCI to a 1-0 victory against Oklahoma State, which came into the Stillwater Super Regional as the top seed and the nation's third-ranked team.

But after back-to-back victories against the Cowboys (48-18), the Anteaters will make the program's second Division I College World Series appearance, and the first since 2007.

Morales, who was the 71st overall selection in Thursday's MLB First-Year Player Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, struck out eight and walked just two to improve to 11-2 on the year.

The first-inning run was more than enough for Morales, who retired the game's final 10 batters.

That run came courtesy of a two-out double by Jonathan Munoz down the left-field line, which scored Chris Rabago, who earlier had one of UCI's nine hits in the game.

UCI (40-23) opens the College World Series against Texas next weekend at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha. Full pairings and game times will be announced Monday.

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