Friday, June 15, 2012

UCLA beats Stony Brook 9-1 in CWS opener

Adam Plutko turned in a third straight strong start and UCLA jumped on College World Series newcomer Stony Brook for five runs in the first inning on its way to a 9-1 victory in Friday's opener.

The No. 2 national seed Bruins (48-14) sent 10 batters to the plate in the first against Tyler Johnson (12-2), who allowed a season-high seven runs in a 2 1-3-inning outing that was his shortest of the year. Jeff Gelalich's bases-loaded single opened the scoring, and Kevin Williams' two-run double off Jasvir Rakkar in the third made it 7-1.

Pat Cantwell's homer accounted for Stony Brook's only run off Plutko (12-3), who allowed five hits and struck out seven in seven innings.

Stony Brook (52-14), a Division I baseball program for only 12 years, emerged on the national scene this week with its "Shock The World" mantra after upsetting powerful LSU in a three-game super regional in Baton Rouge, La.

The celebrated Seawolves from Long Island came to town as the first team from the Northeast to play at the CWS since Maine in 1986.

On college baseball's biggest stage they were no match for a UCLA team that has won 134 games the past three seasons - the best stretch in program history.

Plutko, who threw a two-hit shutout against Creighton in the regional and allowed two runs in seven innings against TCU in the super regional, gave up just two singles before Cantwell drilled his second homer of the season in the third.

Stony Brook threatened to cut into UCLA's six-run lead in the fifth after Sal Intagliata's double put men on second and third with no outs. But first baseman Trevor Brown threw out Kevin Courtney at home after Travis Jankowski grounded out, though it appeared on television replays that Courtney touched the plate ahead of Tyler Heineman's tag.

The Bruins, winners of 10 straight and 20 of their last 22, have outscored the competition 42-10 in six NCAA tournament games.

They wasted no time getting to Johnson, who came in 3-0 in the NCAA tournament and off wins in 12 straight decisions since a March 2 loss to East Carolina.

Beau Amaral and Heineman singled and Cody Keefer walked before Gelalich, the Cincinnati Reds' first-round draft pick, singled down the right-field line for two runs. Brown followed with an RBI single and Pat Valaika's safety squeeze bunt made it 4-0.

The Seawolves' hard luck continued when Kevin Kramer's grounder bounced off the third base bag before William Carmona could make a play, allowing another run to score.

It was the third time this season Stony Brook has allowed five or more runs in an inning. The Seawolves fell behind 5-0 in the first inning against Missouri State in a regional elimination game but rallied to win 10-7.

Stony Brook has staved off elimination five times in the tournament and will have to do it again Sunday in order to extend its stay in Omaha.