LOS ANGELES – UCLA scored in each of the first-four innings and the seventh-ranked Bruins defeated Washington State 12-3 in the opener of a three-game Pac-12 series, Friday at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
The Bruins (16-4, 3-1 Pac-12) jumped out to a 9-0 lead after on the way to its 14th victory in its last 15 games. The Cougars (10-9, 1-3 Pac-12) lost their third-straight game, all on the road against a top 10 opponent.
UCLA tallied five runs in the first inning against Washington State starter J.D. Leckenby (3-3). Three of the runs were unearned as the Bruins took advantage of a two-out throwing error by Leckenby.
UCLA added two runs in the second, one in third and one in the fourth in support of Adam Plutko (3-1). The right-hander gave up three runs, two earned, on four hits, walked three and struck out 10 in six-plus innings. He did not allow a hit until the fifth inning when the Cougars scored all of their runs.
Adam Nelubowich opened the frame with a double. After Tommy Richards walked, Patrick Claussen doubled to drive home Nelubowich. Claussen took third and Richards came home when Bruins' second baseman Kevin Williams committed an error on the play. With two outs, pinch hitter Collin Slaybaugh singled to plate Claussen with the third run of the inning.
In the seventh, Washington State loaded the bases with two outs, but UCLA reliever David Berg retired Jason Monda on a ground out to end the threat. The Bruins capped the scoring when Beau Amaral hit a three-run home run off Cougar reliever Nick LaRoy in the bottom of the seventh.
Trace Tam Sing started at shortstop and was 0-for-2 with two walks in his first game since March 11…Collin Slaybaugh's pinch hit single in the fifth inning was his first at bat since March 11…Adam Nelubowich extended his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games…series continues Saturday at 2 p.m.