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Vanderbilt’s Kumar Rocker tosses first no-hitter in history of Super Regionals

(AP Photo/Wade Payne)

One night after watching his team rocked for eighteen runs in an 18-5 loss to Duke, Vanderbilt’s Kumar Rocker (10-5) hurled a no-hitter while striking out nineteen batters last night as the Commodores evened their best-of-three series with the Blue Devils with a 3-0 victory before a crowd of 3,626 at Hawkins Field in Nashville.

In tossing the team’s first individual no-hitter in forty-eight years, the freshman right-hander from Athens, Georgia, set a new school record for strikeouts in the postseason, eclipsing David Price’s 17 strikeouts against Austin Peay in 2007.

Rocker’s masterpiece was the eighth individual no-hitter in the history of the NCAA Tournament.

Vanderbilt (53-11) will face Duke (35-26) this afternoon at 2 p.m. in the winner-take-all series finale.

Louisville’s Bobby Miller (7-1) also tossed a gem on Saturday as the Cardinals (49-16) became the first team to advance to the College World Series with a 12-0 shellacking of East Carolina.

Miller, a right-handed sophomore from McHenry, Illinois, had a no-hitter going into the ninth, only to see it broken up when ECU’s Thomas Francisco singled to right.

Louisville, one of the most explosive teams in the country, outscored East Carolina by a whopping 26-1 in the two-game series.

East Carolina, which was hoping to make its first College World Series appearance in program history, finished the season with a 47-18 mark.

In other Super Regional action on Saturday, top-seeded UCLA staved off elimination in the Los Angeles Super Regional with a thrilling 5-4 twelve-inning victory over Michigan, surging Florida State won the opening game of the Baton Rouge Super Regional with a 6-4 come-from-behind victory against host LSU, Arkansas annihilated Ole Miss 11-2 in Fayetteville, Auburn scored nine runs in the final two innings to overtake host North Carolina 11-7 in Chapel Hill, Oklahoma State evened its series with Texas Tech by defeating the Red Raiders 6-5 in Lubbock, and Mississippi State downed Stanford 6-2 in the opening game of the Starkville Super Regional.

Darcy G. Richardson is a historian and the author of more than a dozen books. His latest is Loyola's Improbable Ramblers: 55 Years in the Making, available now on Amazon.

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