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Vanderbilt Freshman Kumar Rocker Throws CG 19K No-Hitter in Super Regionals

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJune 9, 2019

Vanderbilt's Kumar Rocker throws to a Duke batter in the first inning of an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional game Saturday, June 8, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Wade Payne/Associated Press

Vanderbilt freshman pitcher Kumar Rocker twirled a 19-strikeout no-hitter as the Commodores beat the Duke Blue Devils 3-0 on Saturday in the Super Regionals of the NCAA Division I baseball tournament.

Rocker struck out the side in the ninth to cap off his phenomenal performance:

NCAA Baseball @NCAACWS

History. The final out of Kumar Rocker's NO HITTER! #RoadToOmaha | @VandyBoys https://t.co/Lk8krceRSy

Per ESPN Stats & Info, no MLB pitcher has struck out more than 17 during a no-hitter. Rocker's no-no was also Vanderbilt's first since 1971.

Rocker, who threw 131 pitches, got better as the night went along. He struck out 17 of his 19 batters in the final seven innings, including 13 in the last five frames.

That included a rare four-strikeout frame in the fifth after a Duke batter reached base on a wild pitch:

NCAA Baseball @NCAACWS

4 STRIKEOUTS IN 1 INNING! Kumar Rocker is on ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ #RoadToOmaha | @VandyBoys https://t.co/WTlqONV349

Rocker received well-deserved praise on Twitter, including from Boston Red Sox southpaw and ex-Vanderbilt pitcher David Price:

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David Price @DAVIDprice24

Wow with a loss tonight @VandyBoys season is over... @_KumarRocker decided he would throw a no hitter and punch out 19!!! To be able to step up that way as a freshmen is inspiring!!! I tip my hat to you sir!! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ

Aaron Fitt of D1Baseball believes Rocker's gem will stand the test of time:

Aaron Fitt @aaronfitt

Kumar Rocker just turned in the greatest individual pitching performance of the 64-team era. Shades of Steve Arlin.

Rocker's evening is remarkable enough sans context, but the true freshman tossed the game of a lifetime with his team facing elimination from the NCAA tournament.ย 

Furthermore, Rocker and the Commodores got off the mat after Duke scored 10 in the eighth en route to a dominant 18-5 win in Game 1.

With the win, Vanderbilt forced a winner-take-all Game 3 on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET in Nashville, Tennessee. The victor will advance to the College World Series.ย  ย 

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