March 1, 2013
Los Angeles, Calif. - The No. 12 UCLA Baseball team scored five runs in the second inning and got another strong start from junior Adam Plutko to propel them to a 6-3 victory over Wright State on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Plutko picked up his second win of the season after allowing earned three runs in six innings of work. Casey Henn took the loss for Wright State, dropping to 1-2 after giving up six earned runs in five innings. Sophomore David Berg recorded his first save of the season after striking out two in the ninth inning.
UCLA's five run second inning started when junior Brian Carroll grounded into a fielder's choice with the bases loaded to score Shane Zeile. Kevin Kramer then singled through the left side in the next at-bat to score Ty Moore to make the lead 2-0 Bruins. The next hitter was Pat Valaika, who crushed a three-run homer to left to give the Bruins a five-run advantage.
The Raiders got two runs back in the top of third, when Mark Fowler hit a two-run home run off Plutko to cut the lead to 5-2. Plutko would retire the next three batters in the inning though to avoid further damage. Wright State would strike again in the next inning when Beau Phillips singled up the middle with two outs to score Justin Kopale, dropping the UCLA's lead to 5-3.
The Bruins wouldn't stay down for long, getting another run in the bottom of the fourth on another Kramer single to up the lead back to three. Plutko settled down in the next two innings, retiring six of the next seven batters to preserve the 6-3 lead. From there, UCLA's trio of Max Schuh, Zack Weiss and Berg shut down the Raiders, allowing just one walk in the final three innings of work to seal the 6-3 victory.
Overall, Kramer led the Bruins by going 3-4 with two RBI, a run and a career-high two stolen bases. Despite going 0-3 at the plate, Carroll managed to get on base twice and make the most of it, stealing three bases and scoring two runs.
The Bruins and Raiders will continue their three-game set tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. out at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Junior right-hander Nick Vander Tuig (1-1, 1.50 ERA) will take the mound for UCLA.
Game Notes: With the win, Adam Plutko improved to 9-0 with a 1.43 ERA in his last 10 starts...Kevin Kramer and Pat Valaika have now both reached base in all eight games this season...it was just the eighth career start at second base in Cody Regis's four-year career (181 games played)...Berg earned just his second career save in 56 appearances....Berg's other save came against TCU last year in the second game of the NCAA Super Regionals...the Bruins had two more batters hit in the game, upping their season total to 24...UCLA's pitchers retired 14 of the final 15 batters in the game...UCLA's base runners were a perfect 5-5 on steal attempts.