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UCLA ace Adam Plutko puts perfect postseason record on line

June 16, 2013|By Chris Foster
  • UCLA starter Adam Plutko delivers a pitch against San Diego State during a regional game two weeks ago.
UCLA starter Adam Plutko delivers a pitch against San Diego State during… (Bret Hartman / Associated…)

UCLA has never lost a postseason game with Adam Plutko on the mound. The Bruins are 6-0 when the junior right-hander starts.

The Plutko factor will get tested by Louisiana State when the Bruins and Tigers meet in a College World Series opener at 5 p.m. Sunday (today). The Tigers (57-9), the top-ranked team in the latest polls, have a .308 team batting average with a lineup that includes Alex Bergman (.380, six home runs, 52 runs batted in) and Mason Katz (.366, 15 HR, 68 RBIs).

Plutko is 5-0 with an 0.82 earned-run average in six postseason starts. He is hardly overpowering but has given up only 27 hits in 44 innings.

“Well, you know, you can’t help but admire that young man,” LSU Coach Paul Mainieri said.  “If you looked up the word 'bulldog' in the dictionary, there would be a picture of their pitcher.”

UCLA Coach John Savage has no illusions about who the Bruins are facing. LSU ace Aaron Nola is projected as a first-round pick a year from now. He is 12-0 with a 1.68 ERA and has 117 strikeouts in 118 innings.

“He’s as good as anybody we’ve faced this year,” Savage said. “They’ve done a terrific job of playing catch."

The Bruins (44-17), on the other hand, have done a terrific job just playing.

“I think we’re one of those teams that people are a little surprised that we are here,” Savage said. “We had a very good team last year. We lost a lot of players. So we feel fortunate, but we also feel like we’ve earned this trip.”


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