ECU falls short to Vandy in Super Regional opener, 2-0
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (ECU) – Kumar Rocker tossed 7.2 scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts helping No. 4 Vanderbilt to a 2-0 series opening win over No. 13 East Carolina in the Nashville Super Regional, which was being held at Hawkins Field. With the win, the Commodores are one win away from advancing to the 2021 College World Series.
In a pitcher’s duel between two of the best hurlers in the nation, Rocker and Gavin Williams, Vanderbilt struck first scoring a run in the first inning. With one away, Parker Nolan reached on an infield bunt single and took third on CJ Rodriguez double down the left field line. Javier Vaz followed with an RBI ground out to second pushing across Nolan.
Rocker (13-3) allowed just three hits and walked three to go with his 11 punch outs. Luke Murphy recorded his eighth save of the year tossing a perfect ninth, while Nick Maldonado worked one-third of an inning bridging the game between Rocker and Murphy.
Williams (10-1) suffered the loss giving up a pair of runs (both earned) on seven hits with two walks to go with his 13 strikeouts in a career-best 7.1 innings. A.J. Wilson walked the lone batter he faced in the eighth and Cam Colmore retired both of his batters recording one strikeout.
Vanderbilt tacked on a run in the eighth to push its lead to 2-0. Enrique Bradfield, Jr. led off with an infield single and took second on a Williams wild pitch. Cater Young’s sac bunt moved hit to third and Dominic Keegan pushed him across when he reached on a fielder’s choice. Keegan sent a grounder to short and Zach Agnos threw home for the would be second out, but Bradfield, Jr. slid under the tag for the insurance run.
Both teams will be back on the field Saturday, June 12 for game two of the series which will start at 12 noon (ET) and will air on ESPN2.
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