NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt right-hander Jack Leiter, ESPN’s No. 2 MLB draft prospect, tossed a no-hitter on Saturday in the Commodores’ 5-0 win over South Carolina.
Leiter walked a batter in the first inning before recording 27 consecutive outs. He finished with a career-high 16 strikeouts as the No. 2 Commodores improved to 15-2, 2-0 in the SEC.
Leiter was efficient, posting 81 strikes in 124 pitches, inducing eight fly outs and three groundouts, improving to 5-0.
“Walking the first guy, obviously, is not something you want to do,” Leiter said in his postgame interview on SEC Network. “But I would say, not until the fifth, sixth, seventh inning, is when it started to feel different from other games.”
The son of former MLB pitcher Al Leiter, Jack works mostly in the low-90s on his fastball, using a knockout plus curveball as his best secondary pitch, traits that attract several scouts to his games.
And it was all working Saturday against the Gamecocks (11-6, 0-2), who lost their sixth consecutive game, and were no-hit for the first time since 1990.
“No one said anything, it was kind of an unspoken thing, I just did the same thing I did in any inning,” Leiter said of his routine in between innings. “I would just sit down quietly, and gather my thoughts.
“I really do try to always say, ‘next pitch, next pitch, next pitch,’ and just kinda stay in the moment.”
Tate Kolwyck hit a pair of two-run home runs for Vanderbilt in its third consecutive victory.
Leiter is one of two Vanderbilt pitchers who are high on MLB teams’ radar. Kumar Rocker, also a right-hander, is No. 3 in ESPN’s latest MLB draft rankings.
Saturday’s win was Vanderbilt’s first regular-season no-hitter since 1971. Rocker tossed a no-hitter in the 2019 NCAA Super Regionals vs. Duke.