UCLA rolls past Stony Brook, 9-1, in College World Series opener

OMAHA — A strong start, hitting throughout the lineup and another good showing from Adam Plutko helped move UCLA into the winners’ bracket in the College World Series.

The second-seeded Bruins rolled to a 9-1 win over Stony Brook in the CWS opener, extending their winning streak to 10 games. They scored five runs in the first inning and never looked back, finishing with nine hits and eight walks.

“The game could not have started any better for us,” said UCLA Coach John Savage. “It was a typical Bruin win, really. Nothing fancy. No big home runs or anything like that. It was just more kind of plate discipline, using the middle of the field . . . and we played catch and we threw strikes.”

UCLA (48-14) will face either Florida State or Arizona on Sunday. Those two teams played their opening game later Friday.

The Bruins got through the lineup and were up 4-0 before Stony Brook (52-14) recorded an out.

Plutko (12-3) allowed one run and five hits in seven innings, striking out seven, and after the Seawolves left the bases loaded to end the second, UCLA had momentum on the Cinderella team in the NCAA tournament. Stony Brook was making its first CWS appearance in its 12th season at the Division I level.

“Any pitcher knows you get a lot of confidence when your team starts scoring runs,” said Plutko, who has won his last seven starts dating to April 27.

Jeff Gelalich, Pat Valaika and Kevin Williams each drove in two runs for UCLA, which got hits from seven players and runs batted in from six. Pat Cantwell hit a solo home run in the third for Stony Brook’s only run.

The Seawolves’ last good chance came in the fifth inning, when Kevin Courtney took a leadoff walk and Sal Intagliata doubled to put runners in second and third. But leadoff hitter Travis Jankowski grounded out to first baseman Trevor Brown, who threw home where Courtney was called out at the plate. Replays indicated Courtney’s foot may have touched the plate before catcher Tyler Heineman tagged his leg.

“Not being able to manufacture a run there kind of hurt us,” said Jankowski.

David Berg pitched the final two innings for UCLA, giving him 48 appearances this year, tied for second in the NCAA record book. He has pitched in 23 of the Bruins’ last 24 games.