Feb. 17, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The No. 14 UCLA baseball team lost its season opener to Maryland, 2-1, before a crowd of 1,007 at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Friday evening.
UCLA right-hander Adam Plutko struck out 10 batters and scattered five hits in seven scoreless innings, before Maryland (1-0) scored twice in the ninth inning to secure a 2-1 victory. Plutko did not earn a decision.
The visiting Terrapins took advantage of two hit batters, one fielding error and two walks in the top of the ninth to claim the lead. UCLA right-hander Scott Griggs (0-1) absorbed the loss, allowing both runs.
Maryland right-hander Michael Boyden (1-0) threw 2.2 hitless innings in relief of starting pitcher Brady Kirkpatrick to earn the victory. Boyden struck out three batters and issued two walks.
Kirkpatrick limited UCLA (0-1) to one unearned run and six hits through 5.1 innings.
Left-hander Jimmy Reed notched his first save of the season, striking out three batters and allowing an infield single in the bottom of the ninth.
Brenton Allen reached base safely in three of his four plate appearances for UCLA. Starting as the Bruins' designated hitter on Friday, Allen went 1-for-2 with two walks, one double and one run. He scored in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out infield single by Kevin Williams.
In the top half of the ninth inning, Maryland loaded the bases with nobody out. Griggs struck out Andrew Amaro before Jack Cleary drew a hit-by-pitch on a full count, sending home Kyule Convissar to tie the game. After a fielder's choice resulted in a force out at home plate for the second out of the inning, Alfredo Rodriguez drew a bases loaded walk, putting Maryland ahead by a 2-1 margin.
UCLA ended Maryland's bases loaded threat when Tim Kiene struck out on a wild pitch that bounced away from catcher Tyler Heineman. Griggs raced to home plate, grabbed the baseball and stepped on home plate just in time to force out Cleary.
Four UCLA pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts and three walks. Left-hander Grant Watson struck out two batters in the eighth inning and allowed one double, before right-hander Ryan Deeter induced an inning-ending flyout.
UCLA and Maryland resume their series on Saturday at 2 p.m. Fans can listen to a live audio broadcast, free of charge, online at uclabruins.com.
Game Notes: Adam Plutko made 96 pitches through seven innings, recording at least 10 strikeouts for the second time in his career...Plutko escaped a bases loaded jam with no outs in the seventh inning with consecutive strikeouts followed by a lineout...Grant Watson made his collegiate debut, facing three batters in the eighth inning (two strikeouts, one hit)...UCLA's record dropped to 6-2 in season-opening ballgames under eighth-year head coach John Savage.