9 IP 0 H 0 R 2 BB 19 K in 131 Pitches.
That was the line of Kumar Rocker’s legendary Super Regional no-hitter against Duke.
9 IP 2 H 0 R 1 BB 19 K in 135 Pitches.
That was the combined stat line for freshmen fireballers Jack Leiter and Thomas Schultz tonight in both of their first ever collegiate appearances against South Alabama.
Read that again.
Sweet Pappy Johnson with an erection, if that’s what they do in their first ever games in a Vanderbilt uniform, what does the future hold for them?
Leiter (Al’s son) got the start, and did everything humanly possible to force Corbin to switch him into the weekend rotation right now. In 5 dominant innings, Leiter was in complete control—of his stuff, which was nasty, and of the South Alabama Jaguars’ nightmares, which are sure to be nastier. He spotted sliders for strikes early in the count, worked quickly, painted corners with an easy fastball delivery (92-95 MPH), and never shook off the catcher once that I saw. He will be the Sunday starter by SEC play. I’d do it sooner. He’s ready for prime time right now.
Leiter kicked off his Vanderbilt career by striking out the side. He would K the side in the 3rd inning and 5th inning, as well.
Here was my comment in the game thread after the 3rd:
K (painted the outside corner), K (swinging… the batter nearly fell down), K (knee-buckling curve). If you’re not watching this, you make poor life choices.
...and after the 5th:
K (swinging on a big curve/slider), K (swinging on an outside heater), K (swinging)!!! Holy shit!!!
Though no one mentioned it in the comments while he was pitching, Leiter had a no-hitter going when Corbs yanked him, and would have been perfect if not for one measly walk on a pitch that was juuuuuuuust off the black.
His final line: 5 IP 0 H 0 R 1 BB 12 K in 80 Pitches (52 strikes).
When Corbs made the decision, my brain understood it, but my heart hurt:
Corbs pulls Leiter.
Fr. RHP Thomas Schultz comes in. Now I can say it. Leiter had a no hitter going. I get that we’re trying not to tax his arm early, as we will need him later… and that he’s a freshman… but dear lord, I can’t imagine sitting a guy down throwing a no-hitter, with 12 Ks, through 5 IP.
Of course, Corbs knows he has a truckload of talented freshman righties, and he has to get mound time for them all to develop them. In the 6th, he gave the nod to the man to whom he handed Drake “Safari Planet” Fellows’ #66, the 6’6” Fr. RHP from Mount Carmel, PA, Thomas Schultz.
Boy did he have something to live up to in relief of Leiter... and sweet sassy molassy, did he step up to the challenge:
Well, at least Shultz is doing his best Leiter impression:
First batter K’d (looking). 2nd batter: K (swinging). 3rd batter: K (swinging). Holy Moses…
Vandy Lifestyle brand manager Vandy Import chimed in with:
is Thomas Schultz actually jacK Leiter in Groucho glasses?
...to which I replied:
Or on stilts.
Schultz would also work quickly and throw strikes for the rest of the game, finishing with a line of 4 IP 2 H 0 R 0 BB 7 K in 55 Pitches (39 strikes), and recording the save in a 3-0 win.
Single, G3, K (swinging on a heater down the middle), F7.
19 Ks combined by Leiter (12) and Schultz (7) in 5 IP and 4 IP respectively.
Leiter (1-0) gets his first win in his first ever college start.
Schultz (0-0) gets his first save in his first ever college appearance.
It will not be their last.