May 24, 2013
Stanford, Calif. - Despite getting an outstanding performance on the mound from junior Adam Plutko, the eighth-ranked UCLA Baseball team dropped the opener of its three-game series with Stanford, falling to the Cardinal, 2-1.
Plutko tossed seven innings in the loss, giving up just two runs on five hits while walking none and striking out two. Mark Appel earned the victory for the Cardinal, allowing just one run on three hits in eight innings of work. Garrett Hughes picked up the save for Stanford with a clean ninth inning.
After a scoreless first two innings, the Bruins struck first in the top of the third with a run off Appel. Sophomore Shane Zeile led off with a single to shortstop before junior Pat Gallagher got hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with nobody out. A sacrifice bunt by junior Brenton Allen moved the runners up, and on the next at-bat junior Brian Carroll grounded out to short to bring home Zeile and give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
Plutko would make that lead hold up for the next few innings, keeping the Cardinal off the board while not allowing a runner to second base through the fifth inning. In the bottom of the sixth, Plutko found his first sign of trouble, allowing a bloop double to Justin Ringo to lead off the inning. The next batter was Austin Slater, who hit a triple to left-center to score Ringo and tie the game at 1-1. A sacrifice fly by Brian Ragira in the next at-bat brought in Slater to put Stanford ahead 2-1.
The Bruins looked to threaten in the eighth, starting when pinch-hitter Christoph Bono led off the frame with a walk. After a fielder's choice, Carroll stole second to put a runner in scoring position with one out. However, sophomore Kevin Kramer struck out and sophomore Eric Filia grounded out to first to end the inning. In the ninth, junior Pat Valaika almost tied things up as he hit a towering shot down the line in left. The ball would go foul though and the Bruins ended the inning without a run, giving Stanford the 2-1 win.
Overall, Carroll went 1-4 with a RBI to lead the Bruins while Zeile and junior Kevin Williams each recorded a hit as well. Freshman James Kaprielian had a nice outing out of the bullpen, entering the game in the eighth and setting the Cardinal down in order.
The Bruins (38-16, 20-8 Pac-12) will continue their series with Stanford (31-21, 15-13 Pac-12) tomorrow night at 7 p.m. The game will be again be televised live by the Pac-12 Networks.
Game Notes: Adam Plutko threw 16 consecutive strikes at one point from the first to the third inning...16 of the 24 outs that Plutko recorded were fly outs...Brian Carroll stole his 28th base of the season tonight, the most by a UCLA player in a single-season since Eric Byrnes stole 30 in 1998...this was just the second time all season that the Bruins have lost a one-run game...Kevin Kramer saw his 13-game hitting streak snapped while Eric Filia's streak of reaching base safely ended at 19 games...the official time of the game was 2 hours and 23 minutes...the loss snapped UCLA's streak of nine consecutive Pac-12 wins.