June 19, 2012; Omaha, NE, USA; UCLA Bruins shortstop Pat Valaika (10) misses the ground ball against the Florida State Seminoles during the fourth inning of game nine of the 2012 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Oregon Baseball(28-8, 12-3 Pac 12) faces off with UCLA(23-10, 7-5 Pac 12) this weekend at PK Park. The Ducks are Ranked #10 in the latest Baseball America Rankings with the Bruins right behind at #13. Coach George Horton’s team brings a six game win streak into the weekend with the Bruins.
For Oregon last week’s Pac 12 Player of the Week Scott Heineman lived up to his billing hitting a three run home run in the top of the 9th inning Tuesday to secure a 4-1 win vs Portland. Tuesday night the Bruins faced UC Irvine and earned a come from behind win in 12 innings 6-4.
According to UCLABruins.com, here are the starters for the weekend series with the Ducks:
TAKING THE MOUND ON FRIDAY NIGHT
Junior-right hander Adam Plutko will start the series opener for the Bruins on Friday night. Plutko owns a record of 4-2 entering this weekend’s games, posting a 2.62 ERA in nine starts this season. In his last three starts, Plutko has struck out 22 batters in 22 innings pitched, giving up just five runs (three earned). He has also not surrendered an earned run in his last two starts (14 total innings). Plutko has a team-high 45 strikeouts in 58.1 innings this season and has allowed hitters to bat just .188 against him, which is fifth-lowest in the Pac-12. Plutko has also been named to the All-Pac-12 team twice in his UCLA career and in 2012, captured third-team All-America honors from Baseball America.
SATURDAY UNDER THE LIGHTS
Junior-right hander Nick Vander Tuig will toe the slab in the second game of the series on Saturday night. Vander Tuig enters this weekend just 5-3 on the year, but in all three of his losses the Bruins have been shut out. Overall, he has thrown a team-leading 60.1 innings in nine starts this season, striking out 40 while walking just eight. Vander Tuig has also posted a 2.09 ERA on the season, good for seventh-best in the Pac-12, and has gone at least six innings in eight of his nine starts this year.
CLOSING OUT THE SERIES
Sophomore left-hander Grant Watson will start Sunday’s series finale for the Bruins. Watson, who owns a career record of 13-3 as a starter, is 5-2 on the season with a 2.79 ERA. He has surrendered just seven walks thus far, good for third fewest in the conference, and has struck out 34 in 51.2 innings pitched. As a team, UCLA is 7-2 in games that Watson has started. As a freshman in 2012, Watson set a UCLA record for wins by a freshman with nine and was rewarded with freshman All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball.
For Oregon, it looks like the same lineup as the last series with Tommy Thorpe getting the nod Friday night, Cole Irvin on Saturday and Jake Reed with the final game of the series on Sunday. The Pac 12 Network will broadcast the first two games of the series.
One hitter to watch out for is Junior Brian Carroll:
Junior center fielder Brian Carroll has had a great junior season so far, leading the Bruins in multiple categories. Carroll has especially wreaked havoc on the basepaths, stealing 20 bases in 24 attempts. His 20 steals rank second in the Pac-12 and were 16th in the country entering the week. In addition, Carroll leads UCLA with 25 runs scored, two triples and seven sacrifice bunts. He has also not committed an error in center field this season and is tied for the team lead in hits (35) and is second on the team in batting average (.292).
Friday and Saturday are slated at 7pm starts(Pac 12 Network-both games), Sunday is a Noon start.
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