Vanderbilt found themselves down 1-0 in the best-of-three Nashville Super Regional against Duke, and so they sent stud pitcher Kumar Rocker to the mound to start Game 2 yesterday and asked him to save the season. Rocker responded with 19 strikeouts and a no-hitter, leading Vandy to a 3-0 win.
Rocker, a freshman who passed up a likely first-round selection in the MLB draft in order to pitch for Vanderbilt, was just about perfect. He walked two batters and hit another, but otherwise couldn’t be touched. He threw 131 pitches, dominating Duke with a fastball in the high 90s and a a slider that nobody could get a bat on. Just look at these damn pitches:
By the seventh inning, Duke was so desperate that they tried to break Rocker’s concentration by having a batter step out of the box before his at-bat and stage a phony conference with one of his coaches. After Rocker struck that clown out to end the inning, he turned toward the Blue Devils’ dugout and told them exactly what he thought of their cowardly bullshit:
It was a moment that paired nicely with his reaction to the final out of the game, after which he stood stoically on the field and allowed his teammates to mob him:
In defeating the vile Dookies, Rocker threw the first no-hitter in Super Regionals history. The two teams will play the series-deciding Game 3 this afternoon. Rocker won’t be able to help his team in the decisive game, though it’s possible that they will benefit from his powerful aura, which surely has remained on the field.