NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — UC Irvine sophomore starting pitcher Andrew Thurman is actually human. Thurman allowed three earned runs, but picked up his seventh win of the season in the Anteaters 5-3 win over Cal State Northridge Friday afternoon.
Though he showed no signs of a metal endoskeleton, Thurman mowed through opposing lineups like a pitching terminator in the month of April. In his four starts, the right hander allowed 10 hits and two earned runs. He pitched three consecutive complete games, including a no-hitter against Long Beach State, which came a week after he took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against Cal State Fullerton.
With his recent string of success, it was feasible to ponder the possibility of another run at a no-hitter Friday afternoon at Matador Field against a light-hitting Northridge team that entered with a batting average just below .260. But Adam Barry made sure that didn’t happen with an infield single in the first inning.
The Matadors strung together five consecutive hits to open the second inning with three runs. They managed to collect nine hits against Thurman in his seven innings of work, but the Anteaters were able to get the win, scoring three runs in the sixth inning to take a 4-3 lead and not looking back.
After UC Irvine collected the victory, I talked with Thurman and Anteaters head coach Mike Gillespie about other players stepping up when Thurman proved not to be a cyborg pitching assassin sent from the future.
Gillespie discussed how Thurman was able to settle down after the rough second inning and give the team a quality start. Skip also talked about how Thurman continues to get stronger the later he goes into the game. He talked about Thurman’s battery mate and his strong performance as well as what UC Irvine has to do to play its way into the NCAA Tournament:
Thurman laughed when I suggested that he was human after all (so maybe he is actually a cyborg?), but then he started talking about why he struggled at the beginning of his start against Northridge. He discussed how it felt to see the offense score three runs to give him back the lead, and ultimately the win.
And wait for the gem at the end when I ask him what Irvine has to do to earn an at-large bid in a regional: