Why LSU baseball's Thatcher Hurd wore Paul Skenes' glove at SEC Tournament
HOOVER, Ala. – There was something different about Thatcher Hurd on Wednesday.
Hurd, LSU baseball's starting pitcher on Wednesday against South Carolina in the SEC Tournament, wasn't wearing his own glove. He was wearing staff ace Paul Skenes' glove.
The change in gear worked, as Hurd allowed just three earned runs and four hits in 5⅓ innings pitched on Wednesday. He also rode a no-hitter into the fifth inning and struck out four batters en route to LSU's 10-3 win over the Gamecocks.
But why was Hurd wearing Skenes' glove in the first place?
"My glove broke the other day, so I've been using Paul's hand-me-down," Hurd said. "And it's got good mojo, so I'm going to keep rolling with it."
So how did his glove break?
"When you catch enough balls and you play catch with Paul Skenes, he tends to break them," Hurd said.
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No matter what glove he was wearing, Hurd's big performance comes at a crucial moment for LSU (43-13), as the Tigers search for more reliable starting and relief options with the NCAA Regionals beginning next week.
Thursday was the second consecutive strong outing from Hurd, who surrendered just two earned runs in five innings in relief last Thursday against Georgia. That was despite Hurd having a 13.81 ERA against SEC competition heading into Wednesday.
"I've always been confident. It's just about surrendering the results to the process and just build off every outing," Hurd said. "You can learn a lot from failure, and you learn from success. So keep building off it. But I've always been confident."
With Wednesday's win, the Tigers will face the winner of Arkansas vs. Texas A&M in the winners bracket on Thursday (4:30 p.m., SEC Network).
Koki Riley covers LSU sports for The Daily Advertiser. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @KokiRiley.