June 15, 2012

CWS Game 1 Notes


Bruins ride five-run first to win over Seawolves

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder



OMAHA, Neb. – The Bruins busted the glass slipper before the ball got started.


No. 2 UCLA scored five in the first on its way to a 9-1 win over Stony Brook in the opening game of the 2012 College World Series in front of an estimated crowd of 23,000 at TC Ameritrade Park.


The Bruins (47-14) extended their win streak to 10 and will face the winner of the Florida State-Arizona game on Sunday at 8 p.m. CT. The Seawolves (52-13) will face the loser of that contest in an elimination game on Sunday at 4 p.m. CT.


UCLA grabbed control early. Beau Amaral had a leadoff single up the middle in the bottom of the first. Tyler Heineman had a hit-and-run single in the hole at short and a walk to Cody Keefer loaded the bases. After fouling off several pitches, Jeff Gelalich laced a two-run single to right. Trevor Brown had a run-scoring single, Pat Valaika added a nice safety squeeze and Kevin Kramer had a RBI single off the third base bag to give the Bruins a 5-0 advantage.


“The game could not have started any better for us,” said UCLA head coach John Savage. “We had some plate discipline, had some quality at-bats and we were fortunate we got some runs.”


Stony Brook starter Tyler Johnson (12-2, 5 H, 7 R, 4 BB, 1 K) got knocked out after 2.1 innings, his shortest outing of the season.


“I just wasn’t on today,” Johnson said. “No excuse over the workload. It was just me being off today and a good UCLA team took advantage.’


Stony Brook got on the board in the top of the third on a homer down the left field line by Pat Cantwell, his second of the season, to make it 5-1.


Kevin Williams had a two-run double to center in the third to push the lead to 7-1. Kramer doubled and scored on a base hit by Amaral as the Bruins extended the advantage to 8-1. Valiaka added a RBI single in the eighth to complete the scoring.


UCLA starter Adam Plutko (12-3) was the beneficiary of the early production. The sophomore right-hander (pictured above) worked seven innings with five hits, one run, two walks and seven strikeouts.


“Adam battled,” Savage said. “He was up to 112 pitches. Adam has not thrown a lot of pitches in his starts this season, so he’s got a lot of gas in the tank. His pitch count has been really low all season long.”


The Seawolves has a couple chances to get some runs, but Plutko was able to work out of it. SBU loaded the bases in the second with one out, but a strikeout and a foul out ended the threat. The Seawolves had runners on second and third with no outs in the fifth. Travis Jankowski grounded out to Brown at first. Kevin Courtney delayed and then broke for home from third. Brown threw to the plate and Courtney was called out, though replay showed that he was safe.


“We had some chances with people in scoring position with less than two outs and we didn’t take advantage of that,” said SBU head coach Matt Senk. “We have been taking advantage of that throughout the tournament and throughout the year.”


Freshman David Berg pitched the final two innings, with no hits, one walk and one strikeout. It was his 48th appearance, the second-highest total in NCAA history. Berg has pitched in 23 of UCLA’s past 24 contests.


(photo courtesy of UCLA Media Relations Office)