Adam Plutko was aware of some of the past winners of the Most Outstanding Player award at the College World Series, and found it hard to believe that his name is now on that elite list.
“I don't know if I'll ever really think of myself in that club, but I'm honored,” the UCLA pitcher said. “I was just excited to be here. ... I was ready coming in. Our whole team was ready.”
Plutko led the way for the Bruins in the CWS, pitching them to victories in their first game in Omaha and the opening game of the championship series. He went 2-0 with an ERA of 1.38.
Plutko and fellow starter Nick Vander Tuig, who went 2-0 and was the winner in the CWS finale, were so dominant that they relegated No. 3 starter Grant Watson to a CWS footnote, even though he shut out top-seeded North Carolina over six innings while winning his only start in Omaha.
Plutko said he won't forget that.
“I'm more proud of Watty than anyone else on our staff,” he said. “I was in the shadow of two guys, and I know how tough that is. Personally, I lived it for a whole entire season. What he did, I'm so proud of him.”
Plutko and Vander Tuig also kept closer David Berg, who appeared in five games and had three saves for the Bruins, off the all-tournament team, which only includes two pitchers.
“I'm sorry he didn't make the team,” Plutko joked. “But I don't think he's that mad about it.”
The all-tournament team:
C: Brian Holberton, North Carolina. 1B: Wes Rea, Mississippi State. 2B: Brett Pirtle, Mississippi State. 3B: Colin Moran, North Carolina. SS: Pat Valaika, UCLA. OF: Michael Conforto, Oregon State. OF: Eric Filia, UCLA. OF: Hunter Renfroe, Mississippi State. DH: Trey Porter, Mississippi State. P: Adam Plutko, UCLA. P: Nick Vander Tuig, UCLA.