LONG BEACH, Calif. — Freshmen Chris Mathewson and Darren McCaughan made Long Beach State Dirtbags history as they combined for the first no-hitter in Long Beach State history on Sunday. The Dirtbags (8-3) won 4-0 behind the no-no and completed a series sweep of visiting Wichita State.
Mathewson was dominant on the mound. He retired the first 11 batters he faced and the final six he faced.
The Shockers (3-7) sent just 28 batters to the plate, which is one above the minimum. Only three Shockers reached first and two were cut down on the basepaths. Mathewson hit Ryan Tinkham with a pitch but stranded him there as the next hitter flew out to right.
In the fifth, Mathewson plunked Daniel Kihle to lead off the inning. A pitch later in the inning fell in the dirt but Eric Hutting was able to corral the breaking ball. Kihle had taken off when the pitch squirted just a few feet away from Hutting and was caught in a rundown when Hutting quickly recovered the ball and threw to second.
Tanner Kirk drew the only walk of the game later on in the fifth but took off on a pitch in the next at-bat and was cut down on a perfect throw from Hutting to second. Kirk would be the Shockers last hop as the final 12 to come to the plate were retired in order with six striking out.
The Shockers best chance at a hit came in the fourth when Michael Mucha smashed a well-hit ball to the left center gap. Joey Sanchez flew in at the last second and made a diving catch to keep the no-hitter intact.
Mathewson threw seven innings and struck out eight along the way, including striking out the side in the third inning. McCaughan struck out three more and produced three ground balls to finish off the historic feat for the Dirtbags pitching staff.
Offensively, the Dirtbags again jumped on top early. Alex Bishop’s two-out single to right scored Garrett Hampson, who led off the inning with a single and stole second for his seventh stolen base of the season. Another run came in the fifth when Hutting laid down the perfect squeeze bunt to score Jonathan Serven.
Two more insurance runs came across in the seventh after Luke Rasmussen was hit by a pitch to start the inning. He scored all the way from first when Daniel Jackson smashed a line drive into the left field corner. Jackson scored just moments later when Zack Belanger hit a chopper over the head of the Wichita State first baseman.
McCaughan struck out the first two batters in the ninth, produced the game-ending grounder to short and the celebration on the field began in front of a pumped up crowd of 1,244.
A great moment in Dirtbags history as Mathewson and McCaughan combine for the first no-hitter in school history! pic.twitter.com/FHxF9AX557
— LBSU Dirtbags (@LBDirtbags) March 2, 2015