By Gary Walker
It is the most exclusive of baseball fraternities, and on March 25 Loyola Marymount University Lions junior pitcher Cory Abbott became a full-fledged member.
That’s when Abbott pitched a perfect game against the Brigham Young University Cougars, writing his name in both the LMU Lion and NCAA record books.
It was the first perfect game in LMU history, and only the 26th ever to happen in the history of NCAA baseball.
A pitcher is said to throw a perfect game when he does not allow any baserunners. It’s a step up from a no-hitter, of which the LMU Lions now have three. The last one came in 2010 on the arm of Matt Florer, who is now Abbott’s pitching coach.
A right-hander, Abbott struck out 13 batters on 106 pitches for a 2-0 home victory at LMU’s Page Stadium. The win marked a big turnaround from the previous two games, in which Cougar batters teed off on Lion pitchers for a combined 20 hits.
The perfect game improved Abbott’s record to 4-1 and earned him National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s National Collegiate Player of the Week award.
“He was pretty locked in all game long. He had really good command of his fastball and his slider,” said Lion Head Coach Jason Gill.
Despite the excitement of teammates and coaching staff, Gill said Abbott kept his cool throughout.
“He doesn’t really get too high or too low about things. That probably helps when you’re in those types of situations,” Gill said.
Abbott is set to pitch again at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 9, in a home game against the Santa Clara University Broncos.