Freshman Duo Throws Two-Hitter in 3-0 Shutout of LBSU
LOS ANGELES – UCLA freshman pitchers Thatcher Hurd and Ethan Flanagan teamed up to strike out 19 batters in a two-hit shutout of No. 22 Long Beach State on Tuesday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium, with the No. 23-ranked Bruins taking home a 3-0 win.
Freshman shortstop Cody Schrier provided all of the game's offensive production with one swing of the bat, crushing an elevated fastball for a three-run home run in the first inning. The blast was the first career home run for Schrier, and allowed Hurd to pick up his first collegiate victory.
The result extended UCLA's winning streak to four games, and moved the team's record to 6-3 at the conclusion of a season-opening nine-game homestand. The Dirtbags dropped to 2-5 with the loss.
The dominance of Hurd and Flanagan was notable in a variety of ways. The Bruins' 19 strikeouts were tied for the most of any single game over the last 10 years (May 17, 2019 vs. Washington). It was also UCLA's first two-hitter of the season, and first overall since Mar. 2, 2021 against Cal State Fullerton.
In addition, Hurd's 12 strikeouts were the most by a UCLA freshman since current New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole had 13 against Washington on Apr. 17, 2009. With Hurd and Flanagan dealing against LBSU, UCLA had multiple strikeouts in each inning until the ninth on Tuesday.
"Both guys were under control, really attacked the zone with multiple pitches, and really went at it in a way that we're looking for guys to do," said UCLA head coach John Savage. "Pretty impressive, two freshmen against a really good team in Long Beach State. They had good counts, they elevated the ball when they needed to, subtracted some velocity when they needed. It was a pretty big moment for both of those guys tonight."
Hurd opened the game with five scoreless innings to go along with his dozen strikeouts. He was especially dominant early on, going nine-up, nine-down his first time through the order with eight strikeouts.
He labored only in the fourth – allowing two singles and a walk – but bounced back to end the inning unscathed after inducing a routine fly ball to right field. He then finished off his outing with two more strikeouts as part of a 1-2-3 fifth.
Flanagan handled the rest, entering the game to start the sixth and going 12-up, 12-down to close out the game en route to his first career save. The frosh southpaw didn't even allow a ball out of the infield until the top of the ninth and was outright dominant in the eighth – striking out the side on 10 pitches to narrowly miss recording an immaculate inning. He ended his outing with seven strikeouts.
On the offensive side, the Bruins were led by Schrier (1-4, three RBIs) and Kenny Oyama (1-2, two walks, stolen base). Graduate first baseman Jake Palmer clubbed a double over the right fielder's head in the fifth inning, and UCLA got a runner into scoring position in five of its eight offensive innings.
UCLA hits the road for the first time this weekend, heading to Houston for the Shriner's Children's College Classic at Minute Maid Park. The Bruins will face off against Baylor, Oklahoma, and No. 1 Texas on consecutive days in Texas, with all games being streamed on Astros.com and the Astros' Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube accounts.