This game was a pitching duel from the very beginning. UCLA’s Adam Plutko (12-3, 2.35 ERA) faced off with LSU’s Aaron Nola (12-0, 1.68 ERA).
There was no score until the bottom of the fourth, until LSU’s Mason Katz hit a solo homerun to left. UCLA matched that in the in the top of the sixth, when Filia hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Carroll from third. The game was tied 1-1.
And the pitching just continued to dominate from there. There was not another score until the top of eighth, in favor of the Bruins. Moore singled to left, was ran for by Bono, who scored thanks to Filia reaching on a fielding error. Bruins lead 2-1.
UCLA’s pitcher Adam Plutko was solid in his seven innings of work, allowing only four hits, one earned run, two walks, and two strike outs. James Kaprielian came on in the eighth as relief, and retired the side while striking out one. And then it was up to David Berg to record the save.
But LSU wasn’t going to go away quietly. Katz reached after an error from the shortstop, but a quick ground out by Rhymes turned into a double play and the bases are again empty with two outs. Ibarra walks, making the game now on the hands of PH Moore, who singled to center, putting runners on second and first with two outs. Jones then pops out to right, ending the game. Bruins win 2-1.
But we cannot overlook LSU’s starting pitching either. Aaron Nola went eight innings, allowed five hits, two runs (unearned), only one walk and five strikeouts. Nick Rumbelow came on in the ninth as relief, faced five batters, struck out three and walked one. While he did record the loss, his performance must be applauded.