NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin worried when Kumar Rocker came off the mound after a first inning where the freshman pitcher hit Duke centerfielder Kennie Taylor with a pitch near the left eye.
Taylor returned to the Duke dugout after a trip to a hospital for tests.
Rocker settled down and pitched the eighth no-hitter in NCAA Tournament history striking out a career-high 19 as Vanderbilt beat Duke 3-0 Saturday night.
Rocker tied his previous career best through five innings with 10 strikeouts, and he retired 13 of 15 Duke batters throwing 99 mph in the first inning and 97 mph in the ninth. He struck out four in the fifth with one striking out only to reach first on a wild pitch. He walked only two on 131 pitches with 89 of those strikes.
It was the first no-hitter in the NCAA tournament since Florida's Jonathon Crawford shut down Bethune-Cookeman on June 1, 2012 and first ever since the Super Regional round started in 1999. It was the first no-hitter by a Vandy pitcher since Doug Wessel shut out Belmont April 19, 1971.
Rocker also set a school record for strikeouts in a NCAA Tournament game, topping David Price's 17 against Austin Peay on June 1, 2007.
No. 2 Vanderbilt beat Duke 13-2 in Game 3 on Sunday to take the best-of-three Nashville Super Regional and advance to the College World Series. The Blue Devils won the opener 18-5 on Friday.