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Sunday, June 5, 2011
UCLA survives against USF; UC Irvine next

By Peter Yoon

UCLA survived another elimination game, riding a masterful performance by freshman pitcher Adam Plutko to a 4-1 victory over San Francisco in an NCAA regional game Sunday at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

The Bruins advanced to play UC Irvine Sunday night with the hopes of extending the regional to a deciding game on Monday night. Should UC Irvine win Sunday night, the Anteaters will advance to the Super Regionals.

Plutko (7-4) dominated from the beginning, allowing only one hit and two walks in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out six and induced 15 fly ball outs, seven of which did not leave the infield. Closer Nick Vander Tuig gave up a run in the ninth, but closed out the Dons for his ninth save of the season.

"I really wasn’t that nervous," Plutko said. "I’ve pitched in a lot of big games in my life. I really used past experiences that I’ve had to not worrying about winning the game but worrying about each pitch that I throw."

Plutko got 15 fly ball outs to go along with six strikeouts and two ground outs. He had a no-hitter through four, and provided a nice follow up to Trevor Bauer's complete-game 3-1 victory over Fresno State on Saturday.

"You’re only as good as your starting pitching, Coach John Savage said. "You have to have good starting pitching in the regionals or you are going to go home pretty quick. To have Trevor do what he did on Saturday and then to have Adam do what he did, you tip your hat to those guys because they put their team in position."