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UCLA baseball: Adam Plutko bewilders another team

June 17, 2013|By Chris Foster
  • Adam Plutko has yet to lose a game in the College World Series.
Adam Plutko has yet to lose a game in the College World Series. (Bret Hartman / Associated…)

LSU batters have plenty of company. The Tigers, like many before them, were left scratching their heads after facing UCLA’s Adam Plutko.

Plutko allowed five hits in seven innings and is 6-0 after a 2-1 victory in the College World Series on Sunday.

“He gets a ton of fly balls,” LSU’s Mason Katz said. “We didn’t make adjustments on that.”

Yeah, just like everyone else who has faced Plutko in the post-season.

Plutko underwhelms. Teams are tantalized by his high fastball, which mostly results in pop-ups or lazy fly balls. He has 28 career victories and is 2-0 in College World Series play.

The Bruins, as usual, got him just enough, scoring two unearned runs.

Plutko delivered an aw-shucks performance post-game.

“I mean, if you look at it, I think we’ve been kind of flying under the radar all year long,” Plutko said. “We always talk about we want to play our game. We just kept stringing quality at-bats, one right after the other, one right after the other. We just were lucky enough to break them down a bit.”

LSU prepared for Plutko, Coach Paul Mainieri said, by setting “pitching machines to throw fastballs chest high.”

The Tigers, he said, were, “trying to lay off of it, get on top of it. We worked real hard on it. I thought we had a pretty good plan ready, and we just couldn't execute it. It’s a lot easier said than done.”

LSU, which came into the game with as .308 team batting average, was left searching for other reasons as well. The spacious TD Ameritrade Ballpark was the fall-back position.

Katz managed to muscle a Plutko pitch into the bullpen for a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning. The Tigers did reach the warning track three times.

“In our ballpark, they would have all been home runs,” Mainieri said.

All part of the Plutko Plan.

“Adam, I think, pitched to the ballpark a little bit,” Coach John Savage said. “That's his strength. He’s a fly-ball pitcher.”


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