AndrewThurmanUCI

CBD Visit: Irvine edges Nebraska (March 15th)

AndrewThurmanUCIUC Irvine used a bases loaded hit batter and a sacrifice fly to pick up two runs in the first inning to beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers 2-1. 

Quotables:

“He was good. He was really, really good. He was borderline great.” UC Irvine head coach Mike Gillespie on junior pitcher Andrew Thurman.

“I’m frustrated we didn’t do more at the plate. We hit into six or seven hard hit outs.” UC Irvine head coach Mike Gillespie on the the Anteaters inability to score runs despite nine hits.

“That was crazy. Honestly, when the ball was hit I didn’t see. Last second, I saw it and made the catch.” UC Irvine center fielder Dominique Taylor on his catch in the eighth inning that kept the tying run off the bases.

“Tonight I was able to throw all four pitches for strikes and let my defense do their jobs.” Junior right handed pitcher Andrew Thurman on what was working in this game.

“The confidence is there, and that wasn’t the case the last few starts.” Junior right handed pitcher Andrew Thurman on bouncing back from two straight losses.

Scouts Take on Andrew Thurman:

I spoke with one AL scout who said he’s been following Thurman since freshman season at UC Irvine.  Below are his thoughts on the junior pitcher.

“I’ve been impressed with him since he got here; he’s a great competitor on the mound. He’s added velocity to his fastball every year since he’s been here and the curve looked like an out pitch tonight. It (curveball) has a lot of break to it and confuses hitters because he disguises it well. He commands the fastball extremely well, and with the added velocity has become a great pitch for him

His curveball has always had good break and it continues to be a go-to pitch, but he’s really developed the changeup. If he continues to develop like he has this season, I could easily see him jumping up in the draft. He’s shown a lot of improvement this season so far. He was sitting 92-94 in the eighth inning, that’s power pitcher stuff.”

Bottom Line:

UC Irvine bounced back from a series loss to BYU last weekend in a big way this week. After defeating SDSU 4-2 on Tuesday night they got an all-american performance from Andrew Thurman.  The Anteaters needed this type of win for their psyche. It was a close game throughout with both teams starting pitchers doing a fantastic job of keeping their teams in it.

With the beginning of conference play just two weeks away, the Anteaters and their head coach are hoping this series can springboard them to a hot start in conference play.

For Nebraska, this series is critical. They’re in jeopardy of digging themselves a hole they may not be able to get out of.  Erstad was brought in with the goal being a return to Omaha and the College World Series. While that goal may a long ways away, Erstad said before the game that making the regionals isn’t a far fetched idea.

The Cornhuskers have a ways to go to achieve that goal as well. A lineup that doesn’t feature any bats that would be considered a threat coupled with a pitching staff that has dealt with injury and some shuffling is not a recipe for success.  Erstad and his staff have been making some noise on the recruiting front, but those players are a year or two away from getting on campus, let alone making an impact.

Nebraska fans need to be patient because one thing is obvious with Erstad. Much like his playing days in Major League Baseball, he is a no-nonsense head coach who will do whatever it takes to win.