March 22, 2013
Los Angeles, Calif. - The 11th-ranked UCLA Baseball team (15-4, 3-1) dropped its first conference game of the year, falling to California, 5-1, on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Junior right-hander Adam Plutko took the loss to drop to 2-1 on the year after allowing five earned runs in 6.2 innings pitched. Freshman Ryan Mason earned the win for the Golden Bears after giving up one earned run in eight innings.
California took the early lead in the top of the first, when Devin Pearson led off with a double and then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Devon Rodriguez then hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Pearson and giving the Golden Bears a 1-0 lead. UCLA would equalize in the bottom half of the inning though, starting when junior Brian Carroll got hit by a pitch to start the frame. After Carroll stole second and advanced to third on a fly out by sophomore Eric Filia, junior Pat Valaika brought him home with a groundout to short, tying the game at 1-1.
The pitchers took over from there, with both Mason and Plutko holding the opposition scoreless for the next five innings. From the second to the sixth inning, Plutko faced 17 batters, retiring 15 of them.
The Golden Bears would take the lead for good in the top of the seventh, going for four runs in the inning. The scoring started when Chris Paul hit a one-out RBI double off of Plutko with a runner on second to give California the 2-1 lead. After a strikeout and a walk, Brian Celsi then hit another double down the left-field line to score two and make the lead 4-1 in California's favor. Freshman Cody Poteet came in to relieve Plutko, and relinquished an RBI single to Pearson before getting the final out of the inning. UCLA's offense was unable to generate anything in the final three innings and the Golden Bears went on to take the 5-1 victory.
Carroll went 1-3 with a run and a stolen base to lead the Bruins, while Valaika, Shane Zeile, Cody Regis and Brenton Allen each tallied a hit apiece. Plutko finished the night with five strikeouts in his 6.2 innings of work.
UCLA and California (14-8, 4-0) will continue their three-game series tomorrow at 2 p.m. out at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Junior Nick Vander Tuig (3-2, 1.80) is scheduled to take the mound for the Bruins while senior left-hander Justin Jones (1-1, 4.62) will toe the slab for California.
Game Notes: Kevin Kramer and Brian Carroll each extended their streak of reaching base safely to 19 and 17 games respectively...Carroll was hit by a pitch twice tonight, bringing UCLA's season total to a Pac-12 leading 41 hit batters...UCLA's pitching staff extended their scoreless streak to 32.2 consecutive innings before giving up a run in the top of the first...Adam Plutko suffered his first loss since April 27, 2012...with his walk tonight, Cody Regis moved into ninth place on UCLA's all-time career walks list with 109.