Vanderbilt's Kumar Rocker strikes out 19 in no-hitter over Duke

12 Juin, 2019, 01:51 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Vanderbilt's Ethan Paul makes a catch of a line drive during the first inning of the team's NCAA college baseball tournament super regional game against Duke on Saturday

Freshman Kumar Rocker pitched a no-hitter with 19 strikeouts in Vanderbilt's 3-0 victory over Duke in Game 2 of their NCAA Super Regional series Saturday night in Nashville.

It was just the eighth no-hitter in NCAA Tournament history. Duke turned the game into a rout adding 10 in the eighth highlighted by three batters hit by pitches and a pair of runs walked in with the bases loaded. It came as Vanderbilt was facing elimination after losing their first game against Duke on Friday.

Rocker struck out the side in the ninth and the last four batters he faced to complete the no-hitter, all while allowing just two walks in an utterly dominant pitching performance. It also was the first no-hitter by a Vandy pitcher since Doug Wessel did it to Belmont on April 19, 1971.

"To be able to step up that way as a freshman is inspiring!" Game 3 is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, with the victor headed to the College World Series.

"Candidly, Kumar Rocker was just better than us tonight", Duke coach Chris Pollard said of Rocker.

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Kennie Taylor went down with the sellout crowd silent while trainers treated him. Taylor was back in the dugout icing the left side of his face by the eighth inning.

Damon Lux replaced him as a runner, and Rocker struck out Matt Mervis with Clarke throwing out Lux at second.

Bryce Jarvis, MVP of the Morgantown Regional after striking out 11 for Duke, grew up a Vanderbilt fan in Franklin, Tennessee, south of Nashville. He scored when Clarke poked a single into right field for the only run Rocker needed. Pat DeMarco thought he had a 2-run home run to follow only to be robbed by Lux with a great catch at the wall.

The Commodores backed Rocker with 10 hits, scoring a run in the fifth on Philip Clarke's RBI single and two in the eighth on Stephen Scott's sacrifice fly and Julian Infante's RBI bunt single.

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