Utah baseball: No. 6 UCLA pounds Utes 16-0
UCLA came into its game against Utah among the hottest college baseball teams in the nation, having won 15 of 17 games.
Friday's performance at Spring Mobile Ballpark only added to the UCLA's impressive statistical totals. The sixth-ranked Bruins pounded Utah 16-0 in front of 1,462 spectators.
The Bruins had little trouble placing another "W" into the their expanding win column and keeping them in contention to defend their Pac-12 title.
"That's where we need to get to," Utah coach Bill Kinneberg said. "They got it rolling and never stopped."
Both teams meet Saturday at 1 p.m. in the second game of this three-game series.
When slugging outfielder Jeff Gelalich lined his fifth homer of the season over the right field wall, Friday's contest had long been decided. The long drive also helped Gelalich increase his streak of reaching base in every game this season.
UCLA (18-5, 5-2), without a senior on its roster and just two seasons removed from the College World Series final, simply outclassed the Utes (7-17, 3-4).
"It's a new day tomorrow," Kinneberg said. "I just want to see us play the game correctly."
And the class was not limited to its offense, which did well enough by pounding 16 hits to go with seven walks. Starter Adam Plutko, all-conference as a freshman in 2011, had Utah hitters muttering to themselves in his 6 2/3 innings of work. He allowed four hits and fanned six.
Plutko (4-1) wasn't untouchable as Utah loaded the bases with two outs in the second. However, after second baseman Ryan Cooperstone flied out to end the inning, Plutko didn't give the Utes too much else.
"My fastball control wasn't very good tonight," Plutko said. "The best part about the game, we didn't make any errors."
Meanwhile, Utah starter Joe Pond (2-4), who had entered the game with a respectable 3.38 earned-run average, couldn't get past the fourth inning. He allowed five earned runs and six hits, while walking three.
"It was a complete game by our team," UCLA coach John Savage said. "We really put some good at bats together."
From the first inning UCLA was always threatening. The Bruins were limited to one run in the first inning thanks to a pair of hustling catches by Utah outfielders Tyler Relf and Gavin Green.
UCLA finally broke through with a four-run third. Eric Filia-Snyder's two-run, two-out single was the key blow.
R UCLA starter Adam Plutko blanked Utah on four hits in 62â3 innings.
• Bruins outfielder Jeff Gelalich has hit in all 23 UCLA games.
• Utah is limited to five hits by two UCLA pitchers.