Vanderbilt right-hander Kumar Rocker struck out 19 batters and tossed the Commodores’ first individual no-hitter since 1971 as part of a 3-0 victory against Duke in the NCAA Nashville Super Regional on Saturday night at Hawkins Field.
The no-hitter was the first by any player in NCAA Super Regional action. Rocker (10-5) set a Vanderbilt postseason record for strikeouts, surpassing David Price’s mark of 17 against Austin Peay in 2007. The freshman permitted two walks and threw 131 pitches in nine frames.
The result marked the eighth individual no-hitter in NCAA Tournament history. It was also the first by a Commodore hurler since Doug Wessel against Belmont on April 19, 1971. Rocker fanned all three batters in the ninth inning and retired 10 straight to close the game.
The Vanderbilt (53-11) victory sets up a winner-take-all finale on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Commodores are looking for their fourth trip to the College World Series and first since 2015.
Duke right-handed starter Bryce Jarvis (5-2) did not allow a run until the fifth inning when Philip Clarke looped a two-out RBI-single into right field to score Ethan Paul. It was the only blemish against the Franklin, Tennessee, native, who allowed five hits and walked four while fanning nine.
Vanderbilt added insurance in the eighth courtesy of a Pat DeMarco leadoff triple and Stephen Scott sacrifice fly. With one out and runners on second and third, Julian Infante set down a squeeze bunt to score Harrison Ray for a 3-0 advantage.
Four Blue Devils (35-25) struck out multiple times including three-hole hitter Matt Mervis who fanned four times. The result comes one night after Vanderbilt allowed a NCAA Tournament program-record 18 runs including a 10-run eighth inning.