March 23, 2012
LOS ANGELES - Beau Amaral went 2-for-3 with one home run and three RBI to lead the No. 7 UCLA baseball team past Washington State, 12-3, in a Pac-12 contest at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Friday night.
UCLA (16-4, 3-1 Pac-12) scored five runs in the bottom of the first and led 9-0 after four innings, notching its 14th victory in the team's last 15 games.
Adam Plutko (3-1) struck out 10 batters in six innings to earn the victory as the Bruins' starting pitcher. Plutko allowed three runs (two earned) and four hits and issued three walks.
Tyler Heineman logged a career-high three hits, going 3-for-5 with two runs and one RBI. Cody Keefer went 2-for-5 with two RBI and one run, and Pat Valaika went 1-for-4 with one double, two runs and one RBI.
UCLA led 9-0 after four innings, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first before adding two in the second, one in the third and one in the fourth.
J.D. Leckenby (3-3) was tagged with the loss for Washington State (10-9, 1-3), surrendering nine runs (five earned) and eight hits in five innings.
In UCLA's five-run first inning, Amaral and Heineman both reached base before Eric Filia-Snyder followed with a two-run single to center.
Washington State reduced the Bruins' lead to 9-3, scoring three runs in the top of the fifth inning. The Cougars opened the frame with a double by Adam Nelubowich before Tommy Richards drew a four-pitch walk. Patrick Claussen belted a double to right field and took third base on an error, as Nelubowich and Richards scored. Later in the frame, a two-out infield single by pinch-hitter Collin Slaybaugh scored Claussen.
Amaral's three-run home run to right field in the bottom of the seventh inning pushed UCLA's cushion to 12-3. The three-run shot landed on top of the hitting facility beyond the right field fence.
UCLA returns to action against Washington State on Saturday, March 24. Game time at Jackie Robinson Stadium is 2 p.m. Tickets cost $7 for adults and $5 for youth (ages 16 and under).
Game Notes: UCLA has won six of its last eight games against Washington State ... the Bruins have won their last four series-opening ballgames ... Adam Plutko logged 10 strikeouts, reaching the double-figure mark for the fourth time in his career and the third time this season ... Beau Amaral and Trevor Brown have each hit safely in their last six games ... Jeff Gelalich has reached base in all 20 games this season ... Zack Ortiz recorded two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 ninth inning ... UCLA's 12 runs marked the team's second-highest run total this spring ... with 12 hits in the game, the Bruins' offense lifted its batting average to a .308 mark.