Leiter whiffs 15 over 8 frames in CWS action

June 22nd, 2021
Vanderbilt Baseball

Flashing that dominant form that helped him climb to or near the top of Draft boards everywhere this season, Jack Leiter was brilliant again for Vanderbilt in the College World Series on Monday night.

MLB Pipeline's No. 3 Draft prospect struck out 15 over eight frames -- breaking the record for most strikeouts by a Vanderbilt player in the College World Series set by teammate Kumar Rocker with 11 in 2019 against Michigan. However, the righty was done in by a single mistake -- a solo home run off the bat of Terrell Tatum in the fifth inning that proved to be the difference in the game as NC State held on for a 1-0 victory. It was the first time all season that the Commodores were shut out.

Leiter yielded just four hits and a walk -- the only knock that went for extra bases was the dinger by Tatum. The right-hander tossed a complete game and finished with 123 pitches -- 82 for strikes.

The 21-year-old was perfect through four innings -- striking out nine while whiffing the side in the second and the fourth. In the fifth, Leiter jumped ahead of Tatum 0-1 before the designated hitter connected with the next offering and hammered it over the wall in right field.

The blast didn't seem to shake Leiter at all though, as the 6-foot-1, 205-pounder retired the next six batters he faced. In the seventh, Leiter found himself in a bases loaded, one-out jam after yielding a pair of singles and a six-pitch walk to Tatum. But he escaped the inning unscathed after notching back-to-back punchouts.

Leiter returned to the hill in the eighth at 109 pitches. After a leadoff base hit by Vojtech Mensik, the righty left the third baseman stranded at first by navigating through the remainder of the frame on 12 pitches -- recording his 15th strikeout along the way.

The usually potent Commodores offense was kept silent by freshman starter Sam Highfill who allowed a pair of singles and a pair of walks while fanning seven over 7 1/3 frames for NC State. Evan Justice closed out the victory after working around a walk and striking out a pair over 1 2/3 hitless innings.