The tigers national championship chances took a massive hit Sunday night as they fell to the bruins 2-1. Despite a very good performance by starter Aaron Nola the LSU (57-10) defense commited 2 errors at critical moments to allow UCLA 2 runs. Bruin starter Adam Plutko kept the LSU bats silent all night with the exception of Mason Katz’s solo homer in the 4th inning. The tigers had 5 hits for the night.
LSU now faces North Carolina (57-11) in an elimination game. Carolina lost to North Carolina State 8-1. The tigers will be the home team at 2:00 Tuesday and will go with Cody Glenn on the mound. The game will be televised by ESPN.
The UCLA Bruins (44-17) will face LSU (57-9) Sunday in the opening game for each team. The Bruins have been ranked among the top 15 teams in the country all season. UCLA defeated #8 national seed Oregon in Eugene in a 3 game series in April. They hosted the Los Angeles regional and went 3-0. They then swept the super regional against the host Cal State Fullerton defeating the titans 5-3 and 3-0 to advance. The bruins average 4.8 runs per game and 3.1 runs allowed. Pitching is the very foundation of this UCLA team and they have a team ERA of 2.69. The ace of the bruin staff is Adam Plutko (8-3, 2.35) who is likely to face tigers Aaron Nola (12-0, 1.68) in the first round Sunday. Other key starters are Nick Vander Tuig (12-4, 2.37), Grant Watson (8-3, 3.22), and Codie Poteet (4-6, 4.84). They have one of the nations top closers in side-armer David Berg (0.88) who is 2nd in the nation with 22 saves.