COLUMBIA, MO. – Jack Leiter makes it a habit to be stingy on the hill and spotless on the scoreboard.
The sophomore right-handed Vanderbilt threw seven hits in the Commodores 11-3 win over Missouri on Friday night – after pitching a no-hitter with nine innings against South Carolina last Saturday.
The scary part? Leiter said he didn’t even think he had his “A” material in the last two starts.
“Today I didn’t have all of my pitches exactly where I want them to be and I think that’s encouraging for me,” he said at the SportsCenter on Friday evening. “There are always things to work on and pitching is fun.”
The son of former Big League pitcher Al Leiter is ESPN’s No. 2 MLB Draft Prospect. The second year hit 10 and went two against Missouri. He has not allowed a hit since surrendering two hits in the 13th inning against Oklahoma State on March 13 – a span of 16 2/3 innings.
Leiter said he understood manager Tim Corbin’s decision to pull him off on Friday despite being two innings away from his second straight no-hitter, and described their conversation leading up to the eighth inning as “fairly friendly”.
When asked what Corbin said to him, Leiter told SportsCenter: “It was, ‘Great work, I’ll take care of you here long-term, it’s a long season, it’s still early in the season.’ And I fully understood it. Of course I was tired, you’re always tired and you always want more. Of course I wanted to throw the whole game. But I got it. “
Head is 6-0 with .25 ERA, 59 spikes and 13 walks in six starts (36 innings) this season. He only allowed one deserved run and seven hits.
The 20-year-old leader finished 16th in a 5-0 win over South Carolina last week while retiring his last 27 batters after allowing a walk to start the game.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have the first choice in this year’s draft, followed by the Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox.
Head’s teammate Kumar Rocker, son of former NFL defender Tracy Rocker, is number 3 on ESPN’s latest MLB draft rankings. The junior Righty improved to 6-0 with 0.73 ERA after allowing two runs – one of them earned – and five hits with five strikeouts and two walks over six innings in a 10-2 win over Missouri Thursday night.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.