April 20, 2012
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Adam Plutko scattered two hits in 7.2 scoreless innings, leading the No. 11 UCLA baseball team past Oregon State, 4-0, before 1,962 in the opening contest of a Pac-12 series at Goss Stadium on Friday night.
Plutko (5-2) carried a no-hitter into the bottom of the seventh inning before Michael Comforto led off the frame with a single to right field for Oregon State (24-12, 6-7). Plutko tallied five strikeouts and issued four walks.
Beau Amaral went 1-for-4, belting a solo home run to right field in the top of the third inning to put UCLA ahead, 1-0. Amaral extended his hitting streak to a career-long 20 games.
The Bruins (26-8, 11-5 Pac-12) added two more runs in the fifth and one in the seventh to lead, 4-0.
Oregon State left-hander Ben Wetzler (4-2) absorbed the loss, allowing four runs and six hits in 6.2 innings. Wetzler totaled four strikeouts and four walks.
UCLA improved to 11-1 in games played away from home (includes one neutral site victory at Dodger Stadium). In addition, the Bruins registered their second shutout in a Pac-12 series opener in the last four weeks.
"Getting the win tonight is a good start to the road trip for us," Plutko said. "It helps to get this team on the right track, and we need to keep doing what we have been doing. Tomorrow is a new day and we need to come ready to play."
UCLA's two-run fifth inning featured a run-scoring single up the middle by Keefer, scoring Williams from second base. On the next at-bat, Tyler Heineman scored from third base on a groundout to second base by Jeff Gelalich.
The Bruins added one more run in the seventh inning. Williams opened the top of the frame with a single up the middle, moved to second and third on consecutive groundouts and scored on a slow-rolling single over the pitcher's mound by Keefer.
"When you're able to get some runs like we did in the middle innings, it makes a big difference as a pitcher," Plutko said. "It allows me to be more comfortable and relaxed on the mound. Our hitters had some quality at-bats, and they've been doing a great job for us all season."
Oregon State opened the seventh inning with consecutive singles, but Plutko escaped the jam by striking out Ryan Dunn before inducing a double-play groundout from Dylan Davis.
David Berg recorded the final four outs for UCLA, throwing 1.1 hitless innings in relief of Plutko.
UCLA and Oregon State resume their Pac-12 series on Saturday afternoon at Goss Stadium. Game time is 1:05 p.m. Saturday's ballgame will be televised live on ROOT Sports Northwest.
Game Notes: The Bruins secured their first victory in a series-opening game at Oregon State since winning, 3-1, on March 31, 2000 ... Beau Amaral's 20-game hitting streak is the longest by a UCLA player since 2001, when Josh Canales recorded a 24-game hitting streak ... Tyler Heineman went 0-for-3, reached base twice and saw a career-best 15-game hitting streak end ... UCLA recorded its fourth shutout of the season, as the pitching staff helped lower its ERA to a 3.29 mark.