Jeff Gelalich, Kevin Williams and Pat Valaika each knocked in a pair of runs as the UCLA Bruins defeated the Stony Brook Seawolves, 9-1, in the first game of the 2012 College World Series Friday at TD Ameritrade Park.
Sophomore right-hander Adam Plutko fired seven strong innings for the Bruins, yielding just one run on seven hits and two walks, while striking out seven to earn the victory.
It's UCLA's fourth appearance in the College World Series and second in the last three years, while Stony Brook made the trip to Omaha for the first time in school history.
The fourth-seeded Seawolves, who are just the second team in CWS history to make the tourney as a No. 4 seed, got a forgettable outing from starter Tyler Johnson. The senior right-hander was touched for seven runs on five hits and four walks in just 2 1/3 innings.
Pat Cantwell provided the only offense for Stony Brook with a home run in the top of the third inning.
Fresno State was the only other No. 4 seed to reach the College World Series before going on the win the national title in 2008. The Seawolves must now win out if they wish to repeat Fresno State's feat.
UCLA struck for five runs in the first inning and never looked back. Gelalich sparked the rally with a two-run single before Kevin Kramer capped the push with an RBI base hit that bounced off the third-base bag.
Cantwell's homer in the third made it a 5-1 contest, but the Bruins responded in the bottom half on Williams' two-run double to center before RBI singles in the fifth and eighth, respectively, made it a 9-1 contest.
With the victory, UCLA advances to face the winner of the Arizona/Florida State matchup which takes place later on Friday, while Stony Brook will square off with the loser on Sunday.