UCLA completed a series victory with a 5-2 victory over California and is now within a game of Pac-10 Conference leader Oregon State with three games to play.
The Bruins (31-20, 16-8) are tied with Arizona State (38-14, 16-8) in conference play and the teams will meet in a crucial three-game series to end the regular season next weekend in Tempe, Ariz. Oregon State (38-14, 17-7) lost two out of three at home against USC (21-29, 11-12) this weekend, the first conference series loss for the Beavers this season, and will end the season with three games at Oregon (29-25, 8-15).
Winning the conference title would help UCLA get a better seeding in the NCAA regionals and would greatly improve the Bruins' hopes for hosting a regional. The 16 regional hosts will be announced next Sunday and the NCAA tournament bracket is announced May 30.
And the Bruins have Sunday's victory over California to thank for keeping alive those hopes. Freshman Adam Plutko (6-3) allowed two runs on three hits and won his fourth consecutive start and Nick Vander Tuig pitched a scoreless ninth for his eighth save of the season.
Senior Chris Giovinazzo led the Bruins’ offense by going 3-for-4 a triple, a double and three runs scored. Dean Espy was 3-for-5.