Vanderbilt's Jack Leiter strikes out 16 in no-hitter against South Carolina

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Chris Thomas, Nashville Tennessean
·2 min read
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Vanderbilt right-hander Jack Leiter is 1-for-1 in SEC play in his career — one no-hitter in one attempt, that is.

Leiter, a sophomore fireballer for the No. 2-ranked Commodores, threw his first collegiate no-hitter Saturday in his SEC debut, striking out 16 and walking one in a historic 5-0 win against No. 17 South Carolina at Hawkins field.

Leiter, the son of former MLB pitcher Al Leiter, retired 27 consecutive batters after walking Braylen Wimmer to lead off the game. He threw 124 pitches.

"He did it against a very good, older, offensive hitting team," Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said. "... To do that against a collection of talent and the fact he could get through that ballgame with 16 strikeouts. ... The whole performance, just special for the kid, but I'm still going to temper expectations moving forward."

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It is the first no-hitter for Vanderbilt (15-2, 2-0 SEC) since Kumar Rocker threw one as a freshman in an NCAA Super Regional win against Duke on June 8, 2019. It also is the third single-pitcher no-hitter in Vandy history and the first in the regular season since 1971.

"He goes about his way in such a mature manner," Corbin said, "you're glad to see him get rewarded in such a way."

Leiter (5-0) and Rocker are considered the best MLB draft pitching prospects in 2021. Rocker (5-0) picked up the win in Friday's 3-2 win over South Carolina.

Leiter, who struggled with command of his breaking pitches early, recorded at least one strikeout in every inning but the sixth Saturday, including striking out the side in the second. He finished off the no-hitter by striking out Wimmer with a 96 mph fastball, and was swarmed by his teammates.

"Probably like the fifth or sixth inning I kind of started to realize," Leiter said. "I knew I hadn't given up a hit. Kind of trying to the whole, 'Don't jinx it, don't think about it.' ... Kind of going backwards from ignoring it, I kind of tried to acknowledge it."

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Jack Leiter no-hitter: Vanderbilt baseball star strikes out 16