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Sunday, June 09, 2019

Kumar Rocker pitched the greatest game in college baseball history

A pitcher with a name like Kumar Rocker is bound to get noticed. With his performance on the mound Saturday night, Rocker left no doubt. That he pitched a no-hitter for Vanderbilt is a story in itself. But it gets better.

Rocker pitched that no-hitter to deliver a 3-0 win over Duke in a game Vanderbilt had to win or else they would have been eliminated from the NCAA baseball tournament super regional of which they were the host. That adds intrigue, and ups the stakes, providing much needed context for Rocker’s dominance.

Vanderbilt, the No. 2 team in the country, still needs a win on Sunday to advance to the College World Series. But that they even have a chance is thanks to the amazing Rocker.

That Rocker STRUCK OUT NINETEEN BATTERS sends his performance on Saturday into the stratosphere. He walked only two batters — Michael Rothenberg in the second inning, and Damon Lux in the sixth — and after the last walk Rocker retired his final 10 batters faced, seven by strikeout, naturally. Rocker ended the game by striking out the final four Duke batters, including whiffing the side in the ninth.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 09, 2019 at 11:11 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: college baseball

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   1. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 09, 2019 at 11:36 PM (#5849879)
I watched the last couple of innings, the kid was dealing. Apparently he was the #2 rated HS RHP last year but promised his mom he’d go to college. He looks like a pitcher, big pitcher’s butt and had a good fastball and a nasty curve.
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: June 10, 2019 at 12:02 AM (#5849882)
ok, but this non-MLB game in 1981 was way better

THE SPORTING SCENE about the Yale vs. St. John's University game at Yale field in New Haven, in mid-May. Two first rate pitchers were playing at the game - Ron Darling, a junior at Yale, the best pitcher ever to take the mound for the Blue, and Frank Viola, a junior at St. John's. Writer [ROGER FREAKING ANGELL] sat with Joe Wood, 91, former coach at Yale, and also a former celebrated right-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox [WHO WENT 34-5 in 1912 and had a 151 OPS+ as a 1921 OF]. Tells what Wood had to say about the pitching style of both boys, but particularly about Ron Darling. In the beginning of the twelfth inning it was announced that Darling's eleven innings of no-hit pitching had broken a tournament record. St. John's won the game, 0-1. After the game, Darling was drafted by the Texas Rangers. Writer feels that because of the baseball strike, this Yale-St. John's game was the most memorable of the season.
   3. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 10, 2019 at 12:09 AM (#5849884)
Writer feels that because of the baseball strike, this Yale-St. John's game was the most memorable of the season.


That’s interesting. I mean that’s a hell of a game obviously but that’s also the same season that Pawtucket and Rochester played 33 innings.
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: June 10, 2019 at 12:13 AM (#5849886)
was Smoky Joe Wood at that game?
   5. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 10, 2019 at 12:23 AM (#5849887)
Cal Ripken & Wade Boggs were there.
   6. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: June 10, 2019 at 08:04 AM (#5849900)
Rocker struck out 19 Duke players, which is more morally valuable than striking out 19 regular players. And then Sunday Vandy spent the first six innings of the game beating Duke about the head and shoulders with a large stick. I suddenly love Commodores baseball!

The excerpt doesn't mention it, but Rocker hit a batter in the face in the first inning. You have to wonder if that gave some batters a bit of the yips and contributed to the 19 Ks.
   7. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: June 10, 2019 at 08:56 AM (#5849902)
So no relation to John?
   8. Zonk Rocks You Like a Sharpiecane Posted: June 10, 2019 at 08:59 AM (#5849903)
I watched the last couple of innings, the kid was dealing. Apparently he was the #2 rated HS RHP last year but promised his mom he’d go to college. He looks like a pitcher, big pitcher’s butt and had a good fastball and a nasty curve.


Yeah, the end of draft pick by the Rox was a no-chance flier. If he hadn't been adamant that he was definitely going to college, he'd have been a 1st rounder, perhaps even a top 10 pick.

We'll have to see if he promised mom he'd go to college or graduate - because he almost instantly jumped into the pole position for the 2021 draft* ... His freshman year started a bit rocky, but he's really come on strong after the first month or so.

First game I've watched him pitch and I agree, kid looks like he'll be a real beast on the mound. I hope he stays healthy - stud pitchers are fun.

*I've seen write-ups of this game mention next year's draft, but I don't think he'll be eligible... 4-yr college players either need 3 yrs or 21 by draft day and I don't think he'll be 21 until November of 2020.
   9. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 09:00 AM (#5849904)
There were a bunch of amusingly off-the-wall teams in the regionals this year (including two from Omaha!), but they were all eliminated, unfortunately. So we end up with a bunch of big-conference usual suspects in the CWS, no matter who wins the remaining super regionals.

I haven't watched all the teams, but I've seen enough of Vanderbilt to know that they're going to be tough to beat, especially if this kid keeps pitching lights out.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 09:26 AM (#5849906)

So no relation to John?


His dad is former NFL lineman Tracy Rocker.
   11. bfan Posted: June 10, 2019 at 10:30 AM (#5849921)
His dad is former NFL lineman Tracy Rocker.


Outland Trophy winner (best college defensive lineman) Auburn superstar Tracy Rocker.
   12. Elvis Posted: June 10, 2019 at 11:00 AM (#5849941)
In addition to Kumar, John Rocker's other kids are drawing the interest of pro scouts.

Shaniqua is a top basketball player and rumored top 5 WNBA pick
Ephraim is the top TE prospect in next year's NFL Draft
Yoenis is a top amateur tennis player
And Sports Illustrated just highlighted the twins, Kumaglak & Tulok, in the Future Sports Stars issue for their golf prowess
   13. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 10, 2019 at 11:00 AM (#5849942)
His dad is former NFL lineman Tracy Rocker.

And his uncle is former Rams DT David Rocker.

His father is now defensive line coach at Tennessee. The fact that a 6'4, 255-lb. guy whose father is a football coach at Tennessee chose to play baseball for Vanderbilt is great.

Good article about Rocker here. I was wondering about his first name -- turns out his mother is Indian-American.
   14. JAHV Posted: June 10, 2019 at 12:08 PM (#5850042)
So no relation to John?


If he hit a batter in the face, he's at least spiritually related to John.
   15. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: June 10, 2019 at 01:17 PM (#5850136)
In addition to Kumar, John Rocker's other kids are drawing the interest of pro scouts.

You're forgetting his other daughter, Fumiko, the F1 driver.
   16. Khrushin it bro Posted: June 10, 2019 at 03:51 PM (#5850223)
Did he go to White Castle after the game to celebrate?
   17. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 10, 2019 at 04:05 PM (#5850229)
No, he threw 131 pitches. He went straight to Dr. Andrews.
   18. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: June 11, 2019 at 09:39 AM (#5850470)
And after the final out, he was going to just walk off the mound like it was the fourth inning until his teammates swarmed him. Pretty badass.
   19. jobu Posted: June 12, 2019 at 12:20 AM (#5850819)
Fun clip to watch. Old-school, if compact wind-up, big leg kick, real drive through the pitch. Looks like a pitcher from the 1970s. And I lost count, but it was something like a billion dropped third strikes.

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