UCLA makes the most of LSU errors

Published: Monday, Jun. 17, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jun. 18, 2013 - 10:02 am

OMAHA, Neb. – UCLA used what's becoming its tried-and-true formula to start the College World Series with a victory.

Hey, whatever works.

Adam Plutko and two relievers limited LSU to five hits, and UCLA turned both of the Tigers' errors into runs in a tense 2-1 victory Sunday night.

"That was a grind," Bruins coach John Savage said. "You're talking about a crowd that was certainly in the favor of LSU, and we anticipated that. And I think at the end of the day, it was our type of game."

The Bruins (45-17) once again squeezed all they could out of their offensively challenged lineup and move on to play North Carolina State on Tuesday.

The Bruins came to Omaha batting just .251, but they got their leadoff man on base in the fourth through ninth innings – including on an error, hit batter and wild pitch on strike three.

They bided their time as Plutko held the Tigers (57-10) in check, and they ended up winning for the 16th time in 18 one-run games.

"We've been kind of flying under the radar all year long," said Plutko, who allowed four hits in seven innings. "We always talk about how we want to play our game. We don't play the opponent, we play our game. Finally, we just were lucky enough to break them down a bit."

LSU scored its run on Mason Katz's home run in the fourth inning. The Tigers, one of the best-fielding teams in the nation during the regular season, made mistakes that allowed the Bruins to tie the score in the sixth and take the lead in the eighth.

"It was a tough, tough loss, that's for sure," LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. "I'm certainly glad it's a double-elimination tournament."

North Carolina State 8, North Carolina 1 – Carlos Rodon held the No. 1 national seed Tar Heels (57-11) to five hits over eight shutout innings, and Brett Williams, Bryan Adametz and Logan Ratledge had two hits apiece in the Wolfpack's (50-14) first CWS appearance since 1968.

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