OMAHA, Neb. — After being constantly reminded for more than a week about his no-hitter in the NCAA super regionals, Kumar Rocker found himself on the mound for the first time on a bigger stage at the College World Series.
Vanderbilt’s 6-foot-4, 255-pound freshman star never let the pressure get to him, turning in another strong start and getting plenty of support from Stephen Scott’s two home runs and four RBIs in a 6-3 victory over Mississippi State on Wednesday.
“That first inning I was a little bit zoned out,” Rocker said. “I had to take my time and get my feet under me and just started cruising. It took me a little bit to do that.”
No. 2 national seed Commodores (56-11) gained the inside track to the best-of-three finals next week. They need a victory Friday or Saturday to advance.
Rocker, who struck out 19 against Duke on June 8 in the first no-hitter of the 20-year super-regional era, held the No. 6 Bulldogs (52-14) scoreless until Rowdey Jordan’s two-out RBI single in the sixth inning. That ended Rocker’s 19 2/3-inning shutout streak.
“When you see guys that back up performances or become consistent, it’s all about competition and their mindset inside of competition,” Vandy coach Tim Corbin said. “He just wants to win. There’s no pomp and circumstance. He’s not trying to posture. He’s not trying to do anything but get out there and compete. ”
Louisville 5, Auburn 3: Two Louisville relievers survived anxious moments to hold Auburn to two runs over five innings and the Cardinals eliminated the Tigers from the College World Series with a 5-3 win Wednesday, completing a game suspended by rain one day earlier. The No. 7 national seed Cardinals (50-17) improved to 32-1 all-time when scoring five or more runs in an NCAA Tournament game. Auburn (38-28) went 0-2 in its first CWS appearance since 1997. Louisville led 4-1 when the game was suspended after four innings Tuesday.
It was 5-2 in the eighth when the Tigers mounted their biggest threat against closer Michael McAvene, who took over for Adam Elliott (3-2) to start the seventh inning.
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