Vandy rides--what else?--pitching to Omaha
Chris Lee • 6/12/2021 in Baseball
The Commodores were tough to hit again this weekend.
Photo courtesy of Vanderbilt athletics.
A day after riding a strong start from Kumar Rocker, Vanderbilt did it again with Jack Leiter, who threw seven innings as the Commodores beat East Carolina, 4-1, to advance to the College World Series.
Reliever Nick Maldonado, who'd been shaky in the weeks leading up to the super regional, threw two scoreless innings to get a save.
The Commodores' pitching was simply incredible all weekend. East Carolina--which scored 400 runs this season--managed just five hits. The Pirates got a man past second just once all series, that coming when Josh Moylan bashed a seventh-inning home run off Leiter on Saturday.
Leiter (156 strikeouts) overtook Rocker by one in the national strikeout lead. He's got a 2.16 ERA and opponents are hitting just .127 against him.
Rocker has a 2.46 ERA and a .157 average against.
Vanderbilt didn't hit much this weekend, but it was enough. Left fielder Javier Vaz--who had 14 at-bats for the season entering the weekend--helped make big plays with his speed in both games.
But Saturday's big hit came from shortstop Carter Young, who smacked a single in the fifth to break open a tie game and give Vanderbilt a 2-0 lead.
Young's double-play partner, Tate Kolwyck, didn't play all weekend. Kolwyck suffered a bruised hand in Vanderbilt's regional opener against Presbyterian two Firdays ago.
Vandy (45-15) will get the winner of the Tucson Super Regional, which features Ole Miss and Arizona, the latter of which won the first game of the series.