May 31, 2013
Los Angeles, Calif. - The UCLA baseball team opened play in the NCAA Los Angeles Regional with a 5-3 win over San Diego State on Friday night in front of 1,690 fans at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Junior Adam Plutko allowed just two runs in seven innings to earn the win, making him the winningest pitcher in UCLA postseason history.
Plutko improved to 8-3 with the win while San Diego State's Ryan Doran dropped to 8-4 with the loss. Plutko surrendered just six hits in seven innings of work while striking out four. Doran gave up four runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings pitched.
The Aztecs opened the scoring in the top of the second inning when third baseman Tyler France earned a lead-off walk, moved to second base on Matt Nunoz's sacrifice bunt, and later to third on Plutko's throwing error (on the play at first). He came around to score when Jake Romanski grounded into a fielder's choice, which forced Munoz at third. The inning ended when Plutko picked Romanski off first with Evan Potter at the plate.
The Bruins equalized in the bottom half of the third. Junior Pat Gallagher opened the inning with a double before moving over to third on junior Brenton Allen's single. The next batter was sophomore Kevin Kramer, who hit a sacrifice fly to left field to plate Gallagher and tie things at 1-1.
UCLA took the lead for good in the bottom half of the fourth when Gallagher's single to right plated both junior Pat Valaika from third and sophomore Shane Zeile from second to make it 3-1. Allen followed with a single to score senior Cody Regis later in the inning to give UCLA a 4-1 advantage.
Romanski got San Diego State back on the board in the top of the fifth, hitting a solo homer over the left field fence to trim the UCLA lead to 4-2. Plutko avoided further trouble though escaping the inning without allowing any more runs.
In the top of the seventh, San Diego State got Potter to second base, but he was stranded there by Plutko. UCLA then tacked on an insurance run in the bottom half of the inning when pinch-hitter Brett Urabe drew a lead-off walk, moved to on a sacrifice and then scored on sophomore Eric Filia's single to right.
Junior Zack Weiss relieved Plutko for the Bruins to start the eighth, and retired the side with ease, allowing only a one-out hit by France. Sophomore David Berg entered the game in the ninth for UCLA, and gave up a run on doubles by Romanski and Allen before settling down and striking out Sheehan to end the game.
Overall, Gallagher led the Bruins at the plate by going 3-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Kramer added a hit and a RBI while Zeile went 2-4 with a run.
The Bruins improved to 40-17 on the season, and will face Cal Poly (40-17) on Saturday at 6 p.m. San Diego State will play San Diego (35-24) at 2 p.m. in an elimination game. UCLA will act as the visiting team in its game against Cal Poly tomorrow.
Game Notes: UCLA has reached the 40-win plateau for the third time in the last four years and for the ninth time in program history...Adam Plutko is now 5-0 in five all-time postseason appearances, logging a 0.97 ERA...Plutko also moved into sole possession of first place on UCLA's all-time career postseason wins list, breaking the tie with Trevor Bauer who previously had four postseason wins...Plutko is now tied with Gerrit Cole, Bauer and Rob Rasmussen for most postseason games started in UCLA history...finally, Plutko moved into sole possession of seventh place on UCLA's all-time career strikeouts list, striking out 266 batters in his three-year career...Cody Regis became UCLA's all-time leader in career postseason games played, now playing in 25 all-time postseason games...Regis also tied Troy Glaus for eighth place on UCLA's all-time career walks list, drawing his 123rd career walk tonight...in his last two games, Pat Gallagher is 7-9 with three RBI and two runs scored...David Berg extended his single-season UCLA saves record to 19 with his save tonight.