Vanderbilt avoids elimination as freshman RHP Kumar Rocker turns in another masterful playoff performance
The Vanderbilt Commodores had their backs against the wall on Tuesday night, needing a win against a hot Michigan team to keep their season alive in the College World Series championship series.
While Michigan chose to start redshirt freshman reliever Isaiah Page, anticipating bad weather in Omaha for the game. However, Vanderbilt made the decision to stick with freshman RHP Kumar Rocker, and that proved to be a huge factor in the game.
Page did a wonderful job, throwing 4.0 innings while allowing only one run on three hits, but Rocker was even better. In the first two innings, he struck out five of the first six batters he faced, including striking out the side in the second:
Rocker worked out of trouble in a couple of innings, but managed to go 6.1 innings while only allowing one run (which was given up by reliever Tyler Brown) and striking out 11 Wolverines. It was another masterful performance from a young pitcher who doesn’t seem fazed at all in big moments.
On offense, catcher Philip Clarke had two hits, including a home run, to lead the way for the Commodores:
What a laser for Philip Clarke!
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 26, 2019
Vanderbilt held on for a 4-1 victory, setting up a winner-takes-all Game 3 on Wednesday night. That game starts at 7 p.m. Eastern time and can be seen on ESPN.