Starting as a true freshman for a nationally ranked college baseball team is a dream come true. Helping that team advance in the College World Series is more than former Turlock High standout Kevin Kramer thought possible.
Kramer and the UCLA Bruins blew past Stony Brook University in the first round of the College World Series on Friday, 9-1. The Seawolves (52-14), dubbed the “Cinderella” team of this year’s CWS, were no match for number 2 national seed UCLA, giving up a huge, early lead as their pitchers struggled against the Bruins’ (48-14) batters.
Kramer finished the game with an RBI, two runs and a batting average of .287. Kramer’s RBI came in the first inning when he hit an infield single to third base, bringing Trevor Brown across home plate for the Bruins’ fifth run of the inning. Kramer crossed the plate himself in the third and fifth innings off a Kevin Williams double deep into center field and a Beau Amaral single into left center field.
“We set the tone pretty early and that was a good thing for us,” Kramer said about Friday’s game.
Friday’s victory was the 10th straight win for the Bruins who have outscored their competition 42-10 in the last six NCAA tournament games.
“Everyone knew we were going to have a good team, but we didn’t know how good. As the year unfolded we realized we could be one of the better teams in the nation,” Kramer said.
“This year’s been more than I’ve expected. It’s been a great experience. I can’t put into words how much I’ve learned and how magnificent (it is),”he said.
UCLA will face the winner of Friday’s matchup between Arizona and Florida State in the second round of the CWS Sunday in Omaha, Neb. The game will be televised on ESPN 2 at 6 p.m.