March 28, 2013
Tempe, Ariz. - The seventh-ranked UCLA Baseball team fell in their first Pac-12 road game of the season, dropping a 4-1 decision to Arizona State on Thursday night at Packard Stadium.
Trevor Williams earned the win for the Sun Devils, allowing one run in 7.2 innings pitched. Junior Adam Plutko took the loss, despite pitching eight strong innings for the Bruins. Plutko gave up just four hits, striking out seven and allowing four runs (three earned).
Arizona State scored in the bottom of the first inning to take an early lead on the Bruins. After two hit batters and a walk loaded the bases, Plutko gave up an RBI groundout to Jake Peevyhouse, giving the Sun Devils a 1-0 lead.
Plutko would settle in after that though, not allowing a run in the next three innings while setting down nine of the 10 batters he faced. The Bruins also threatened in the second, third and fourth innings, putting men in scoring position each time with two outs. However, Williams was able to get out of the inning each time to hold UCLA scoreless.
Arizona State would add to its lead in the bottom of the fifth. Plutko walked Drew Stankiewicz to start the inning, and then Stankiewicz stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Shane Zeile. Two batters later, Casey Coffman grounded out to second, scoring Stankiewicz to make it 2-0 Sun Devils. Arizona State would get another run in the top of the seventh, as Stankiewicz hit an RBI double off Plutko with a runner on third to increase Arizona State's lead to 3-0.
UCLA's offense scratched across a run in the top of the eighth to cut the deficit, as Pat Valaika hit a two-out RBI single to score Eric Filia to make it 3-1. Kevin Williams walked in the next at-bat to bring the go-ahead run to the plate in Shane Zeile, but Zeile grounded out to second and the threat was ended.
Arizona State tacked on another run in the bottom of the eighth on a solo home run by Michael Benjamin. In the top of the ninth, Christoph Bono and Brian Carroll drew back-to-back walks with two outs to bring up Filia. Filia popped out to shortstop though, ending the game and giving Arizona State the 4-1 win.
Filia led the Bruins at the plate, going 3-5 with a run and a stolen base. Senior Cody Regis followed that up with a 2-4 effort while Valaika, Zeile and Bono each tallied hits as well.
UCLA (17-5, 5-2 Pac-12) and Arizona State (14-7-1, 3-4 Pac-12) will continue their three-game series tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at Packard Stadium. Junior Nick Vander Tuig will take the mound for the Bruins.
Game Notes: Brian Carroll extended his streak of reaching base safely to 20 consecutive games...Kevin Kramer's streak of reaching base safely in 21 straight games was snapped tonight...Plutko's eight innings pitched were a season-high...his eight innings also go down as a complete game, marking the fourth time in his career that he has pitched a complete game...Eric Filia matched a career-high with his three hits in the ballgame...Cody Regis improved his average in conference play to a team-leading .444 with his 2-4 performance.