Draft prospect Jack Leiter throws no-hitter, Ks 16 for Vandy

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,Vanderbilt pitcher Jack Leiter throws during an NCAA college baseball game Oct. 17, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. Vanderbilt returns most of its everyday lineup, features the top two pitchers in college baseball and won the most recent national championship. Still, the Commodores aren’t even regarded as the team to beat in the Southeastern Conference, let alone the nation, not with Florida’s roster overflowing with talent at nearly every position. (Joe Howell/Vanderbilt University Athletics via AP)

Top draft prospect Jack Leiter pitched a nine-inning no-hitter with 16 strikeouts for Vanderbilt on Saturday, retiring his final 27 batters.

Leiter, the son of 19-year big league pitcher Al Leiter, walked Braylen Wimmer to lead off the game but was perfect the rest of the way in a 5-0 victory over South Carolina. He struck out Wimmer swinging at a 96 mph fastball to end the game, his 124th pitch.

The 20-year-old sophomore was swarmed by teammates after the final pitch. The right-hander improved to 5-0 with a 0.31 ERA in five starts.

“I felt pretty good in the first inning, but walking the first guy, obviously not what you want to do,” Leiter said. “I would say honestly not really until the sixth, seventh inning, it felt like it was a little bit different than other games.”

Leiter’s no-hitter was the first for Vanderbilt since teammate Kumar Rocker dominated Duke as a freshman in the 2019 Super Regionals. Rocker and Leiter are considered the top pitching prospects for Major League Baseball’s 2021 draft. Rocker struck out 14 Gamecocks in a 3-2 win Friday night and has an 0.58 ERA.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have the first pick in this summer’s draft, followed by the Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox.

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