Feb. 15, 2013
Los Angeles, Calif. - The No. 2 ranked UCLA Baseball team lost its season opener on Friday night, falling to Minnesota by a score of 6-2 at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Junior right-hander Adam Plutko struck out six batters and scattered seven hits in 6.2 innings of work, earning a no-decision in the process. Freshman Cody Poteet took the loss for UCLA after giving up two earned runs in a third of an inning. Minnesota scored two runs in the seventh and four runs in the 10th to claim the victory. Overall, the Bruins used seven pitchers in the game.
Kevin Kray picked up the victory for the Golden Gophers after throwing two scoreless innings. Junior left-hander Tom Windle started the game for Minnesota and pitched four innings of shutout baseball, giving up three hits.
The game was scoreless for the first four innings before the Bruins got on the board in the fifth inning. Freshman second baseman Trent Chatterton and junior center fielder Brian Carroll got the inning started by each drawing a hit-by-pitch. Sophomore third baseman Kevin Kramer then laced a one-out double to right-center, scoring Chatterton and Carroll and giving UCLA a 2-0 lead.
The Golden Gophers tied the game up in the seventh inning when Bobby Juan hit an RBI double off of Plutko to cut the deficit to one. Plutko got the next batter, but after a sacrifice fly by Ryan Abrahamson, Tony Skjefte hit a single to shortstop to score Juan and tie the game at 2-2.
UCLA threatened in the eighth inning as they loaded the bases with two outs for Chatterton. But Minnesota right-hander Billy Soule was able to strike out Chatterton looking to end the threat. Once again the Bruins had a chance in the ninth inning when junior shortstop Pat Valaika came to the plate with runners on first and second and one out. Valaika would hit into a 5-3 double play though and the game went to extra innings.
In the top of the 10th, Minnesota scored four runs on four hits to take a 6-2 lead. First baseman Dan Olinger hit an RBI single off Poteet to put the Golden Gophers up one before Handel and Juan hit back-to-back RBI doubles off junior right-hander Zack Weiss to extend the Golden Gophers' lead. The Bruins could not muster anything in the bottom of the 10th and fell by the score of 6-2.
Kramer and Carroll each led UCLA with two hits apiece while Carroll added two stolen bases in the game. Freshman Darrell Miller Jr. made his collegiate debut at the designated hitter spot and drew two walks as well.
The Bruins and Golden Gophers will resume their series tomorrow at 2 p.m. out at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Game Notes: Adam Plutko threw a total of 93 pitches in his 6.2 innings of work...sophomore pitcher Max Schuh made his collegiate debut, facing one batter and inducing a groundout in the 10th inning...the Bruins last played an extra inning game on April 5, 2011, a 5-4 loss at UC Riverside...sophomore right-hander David Berg appeared in his eighth consecutive game in relief dating back to last season, getting outs from all six batters he faced...UCLA's record dropped to 6-3 in season-opening ballgames under ninth-year head coach John Savage.