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Originally published June 22, 2013 at 5:29 PM | Page modified June 22, 2013 at 10:59 PM

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Pac-12, SEC teams square off for NCAA baseball title

UCLA of the Pac-12 and Mississippi State of the Southeastern Conference will play in the best-of-three championship round of the College World Series starting Monday in Omaha, Neb.

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College baseball

Pac-12, SEC teams to play for title again

It will be the Pac-12 against the Southeastern Conference for the second consecutive year in the finals of the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

The UCLA Bruins (47-17) of the Pac-12 and Mississippi State (51-18) of the SEC will square off in the best-of-three series starting Monday after each went unbeaten in winning its bracket.

UCLA survived a rocky ninth inning to eliminate No. 1 national seed North Carolina with a 4-1 victory Friday night. The Bulldogs got a three-run homer from Hunter Renfroe and defeated Oregon State 4-1 earlier in the day.

Mississippi State beat Oregon State twice in bracket play — a fact that did not go unnoticed by Bruins coach John Savage.

Oregon State won two of three against the Bruins in Los Angeles while winning the Pac-12 regular-season championship.

“To beat Oregon State, we know how good Oregon State is. They’re good,” Savage said. “And to do what they did against them twice, it goes to show that they’re a little better than them. So we’re going to respect the game. We’re going to respect the opponent. We’re going to respect the next two days in terms of preparation, getting ourselves ready and do what we do.”

The Bruins are in the final series for the second time, and first since getting swept by South Carolina in 2010.

Mississippi State is in the final series for the first time.

Pac-12 team Arizona beat South Carolina of the SEC to win the national title a year ago. Teams from the Pac-12 and SEC have faced off in the finals three of the last four years.

Track and field

3 U.S. records are set

Brianna Rollins set a national record in the 100-meter hurdles at the U.S. championships on a sweltering day in Des Moines, Iowa.

Rollins, a standout at Clemson before turning pro this month, finished in 12.26 seconds to surpass the mark of 12.33 set by Gail Devers in 2000.

In other American-record efforts, Michelle Carter threw the shot put 66 feet, 5 inches and Amanda Bingson had a toss of 248-5 in the hammer throw.

Meanwhile, 17-year-old Mary Cain finished second in the 1,500 meters in 4 minutes, 28.76 seconds to earn a spot on the U.S. team for the world championships in Moscow in August. She was edged at the line by training partner Treniere Moser, who had a time of 4:28.62.

LaShawn Merritt won the men’s 400 meters in 44.21 seconds, and Olympic champion Ashton Eaton took the decathlon title with 8,291 points.

Nelson to be honored

At long last, American Adam Nelson will stand on the top step of the podium and hear the national anthem played in his honor.

And then, the U.S. shot putter will take a victory lap around the stadium in Des Moines, bringing his two young daughters out of the stands to share in the moment.

Nine years later and more than 5,000 miles removed from Athens, Greece, Nelson will be honored Sunday at nationals as the 2004 Olympic champion.

Nelson, who is retired from competition, was officially elevated from second place to Olympic champion last month, taking the gold that was stripped from Ukrainian rival Yuriy Bilonog for doping. The International Olympic Committee reallocated the medals from Athens events in which athletes were retroactively disqualified after their doping samples were retested and came back positive for steroids.

ELSEWHERE

Jan Ullrich, the 1997 Tour de France winner, has admitted for the first time he received blood-doping treatment from Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes during his career, according to an interview with German magazine Focus.

“I always knew that I was doing something forbidden and wrong,” he said.

In February 2012, the Court of Arbitration for Sport banned Ullrich for two years for blood doping. The court stripped him of his third-place finish at the 2005 Tour de France. Ullrich retired in 2007.

• Boxer Adrien Broner beat Paulie Malignaggi in a 12-round split decision in New York, took Malignaggi’s welterweight title and improved to 27-0.

Close Hatches ($10.60 to win) defeated runner-up Dreaming of Julia, who was sent off at 1-5 odds, by 7¼ lengths in the Grade I Mother Goose Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.

Close Hatches, trained by Bill Mott and ridden by Joel Rosario, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.36 in the $294,000 race.

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