UCLA Baseball Earns 5-2 Victory Over California
May 22, 2011
LOS ANGELES - Adam Plutko allowed two runs and three hits through eight innings to earn the victory, leading the UCLA baseball team past California, 5-2, before 1,426 fans at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Sunday.
Plutko (6-3) had three strikeouts and one walk, securing the victory in his fourth consecutive start and helping the Bruins clinch their sixth Pac-10 series win of the year.
UCLA (31-20, 16-8) moved into a tie for second place alongside Arizona State in the Pac-10. Both the Bruins and Sun Devils trail Oregon State by one game in the conference standings.
Playing in his final regular-season home game at UCLA, senior Chris Giovinazzo led the Bruins' offense with a 3-for-4 effort with one triple, one double and three runs. Dean Espy went 3-for-5 with double, one run and one RBI. Cody Keefer went 2-for-4 with one RBI.
Right-hander Nick Vander Tuig notched his eighth save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning.
UCLA chased California left-handed starter Justin Jones (7-5) after three innings. Jones was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs, six hits, two walks and one hit batter in three frames.
The Golden Bears (30-18, 13-11) were led at the plate by Tony Renda, who went 2-for-4 with one double and one RBI.
California scored one run in the top of the first. After Austin Booker drew a leadoff hit-by-pitch and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt, the Golden Bears' left fielder scored on a one-out double by Renda.
UCLA tied the contest with one run in the first inning before adding two runs in the third. Giovinazzo led off the bottom of the first with a single to left field, moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Keefer's two-out single to left. Espy opened the third inning with a double and scored on Valaika's single to right. Valaika advanced to second base on Jeff Gelalich's infield single and scored on Trevor Brown's base-hit through the left side.
The Bruins added one run in the bottom of the fourth, extending their lead to 4-1. Giovinazzo opened the inning with a double to the left field corner and scored on a single through the left side by Espy.
California's Louie Lechich belted a one-out solo home run to right field in the top of the fifth, reducing the Bruins' cushion to 4-2.
UCLA scored one run in the bottom of the eighth inning. After belting a triple to right-center field, Giovinazzo scored the Bruins' fifth run on a single to left-center field by Beau Amaral.
UCLA has four road games remaining on its regular-season schedule. The Bruins play at UC Irvine on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. before opening a three-game Pac-10 series at No. 8 Arizona State on Friday evening. All four games will feature a live audio broadcast online, free of charge, at uclabruins.com.
Game Notes: Nick Vander Tuig made a highlight-reel defensive play with runners on the corners and nobody out in the top of the ninth inning - Chad Bunting speared a line drive that was caught by Vander Tuig, who tossed the ball to Espy at first base to record a force out ... Adam Plutko improved to 6-3 and saw his ERA rise to a 1.70 mark, the second-lowest average on the Bruins' pitching staff ... Beau Amaral extended his hitting streak to seven games ... prior to Sunday's game, five UCLA players were honored as part of the annual "Senior Day" ceremony (seniors Chris Giovinazzo, Jordan Haver; redshirt juniors Mitchell Beacon, Brandon Lodge, Marc Navarro) ... UCLA has gone 8-4-1 in three-game weekend series this year (6-2 in Pac-10 series).
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