In the 75-year history of the CWS, there have been 46 low-hit ball games. Low-hit games are considered no-hitters, one-hitters, and two-hitters per the CWS record book. Seventeen of those 46 games have needed multiple pitchers to complete the contest, so let’s narrow our focus first to the 29 pitchers who tossed low-hit gems all by their lonesome.
Just two no-hitters have been thrown in College World Series history. In 1950, Jim Ehrler of Texas did his part in helping the Longhorns become the first repeat champions in CWS history. He tossed a 7-0 no-hitter in Omaha at the first-ever CWS played at Rosenblatt Stadium. He was in top form from start to finish, striking out five of the six batters he faced in the seventh and eight innings.
Ten years later, Oklahoma State’s Jim Wixson tossed a no-no himself, one of just eight in Cowboy’s program history. The feat helped Oklahoma State eliminate North Carolina and propel the Cowboys to the semifinals. The final score of that game was also 7-0.
Eight pitchers have tossed a one-hit complete game in College World Series history. Washington State’s Rod Keogh needed 10 innings to get his, the only pitcher on our list who needed an extra frame to finish the job. His one-hitter came on June 19, 1950, the very same day as Ehrler’s no-hitter. Jackie Lonergan of Holy Cross tossed a one-hitter two years later, but unlike anyone else who’s thrown one solo at the CWS, he lost 1-0 to Missouri.
Nineteen pitchers have thrown solo two-hitters. Junior Wren of Penn State and Tom Cole of Western Michigan threw theirs on the same day, June 14, 1952. There were back-to-back seasons pretty recently with two-hit performances; one was a combined effort by LSU’s Alex Lange and Zack Hess in 2017 but the other was Kevin Abel’s solo effort in his CWS clinching shutout over Arkansas to win Oregon State the 2018 CWS.
Here’s the complete list of CWS individual low-hit games:
|Jim Wixson||Oklahoma State||North Carolina||1960|
|Rod Keogh||Washington State||Rutgers||1950 (10 innings)|
|Jackie Lonergan||Holy Cross||Missouri||1952 (lost)|
|Buddy Wittichen||Ole Miss||Bradley||1956|
|Littleton Fowler||Oklahoma State||Syracuse||1961|
|Bob Shirley||Oklahoma||Penn State||1973|
|Doug Henry||Arizona State||Maine||1983|
|Junior Wren||Missouri||Penn State||1952|
|Tom Cole||Western Michigan||Duke||1952|
|Lawrence Bossidy||Colgate||Wake Forest||1955 (lost)|
|Robert Blakeslee||Southern California||Northern Colorado||1958|
|Dave Baldwin||Arisone||Fresno State||1959|
|Skip Hancock||Arizona State||Ole Miss||1964|
|Steve Arlin||Ohio State||Southern California||1966|
|Gene Ammann||Florida State||Arizona||1970|
|Craig Swan||Arizona State||Temple||1972|
|Tom Bigwood||Georgia Southern||Harvard||1973|
|Greg Ward||South Carolina||Eastern Michigan||1975|
|Mike Fontana||Long Beach State||Kansas||1993|
|Michael Roth||South Carolina||Kent State||2012|
|Kevin Abel||Oregon State||Arkansas||2018|
Now, what about those low-hitters tossed by multiple pitchers? The first two combined one-hitters came in the same College World Series in 1964. Minnesota's Frank Brosseau, Dan Howard, and Dick Mielke combined for a one-hit, 12-0 victory on June 12 before Minnesota was on the wrong side of a one-hitter three days later when Keith Weber and Jim Nelson teamed up for Missouri to defeat the Gophers 4-1.
The feat was most recently completed in the final game of the 2021 College World Series, where Will Bednar and Landon Sims combined to allow just one hit in a 9-0 Game 3 finals win over Vanderbilt.
The first two-hitter that took place in the CWS came in the 1955 rendition, where there were four two-hitters tossed in Omaha. Lawrence Bossidy got the action started for Colgate on June 10 before Ken Kinnamon and Don Anderson combined for a two-hitter for Oklahoma State on the same day (June 12) that Arizona's Carl Thomas tossed his. Sam Frankel and Lawrence Bossidy of Colgate rounded out the bunch on June 13.
Here are the low-hitters that took a combination of pitchers to complete.
- Frank Brosseau, Dan Howard, and Dick Mielke, Minnesota, 1964
- Keith Weber and Jim Nelson, Missouri, 1964
- Alan Dunn and Tim Meacham, Alabama, 1983
- Nathan Kirby and Artie Lewicki, Virginia, 2014
- Will Bednar and Landon Sims, Mississippi State, 2021
- Ken Kinnamon and Don Anderson, Oklahoma State, 1955
- Sam Frankel and Lawrence Bossidy, Colgate, 1955
- Bill Dobbs, Richard Schmidt, and Bob Richardson, Oklahoma State, 1968
- Ken Crosby and Fred Caviglia, BYU, 1968
- Steve Rogers and Cliff Butcher, Tulsa, 1969
- Jim Gideon and Jimmy Brown, Texas, 1974
- Brad Gore and Ritchie Moody, Oklahoma State, 1990
- John Hudgins and Kodiak Quick, Stanford, 2003
- J.P. Howell, J. Brent Cox, and Buck Cody, Texas, 2004
- Jonah Nickerson and Kevin Gunderson, Oregon State, 2006
- Brandon Waddell and Josh Sborz, Virginia, 2015
- Alex Lange and Zack Hess, 2018