NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Vanderbilt pitching duo of Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter were selected as District 3 Co-Players of the Year, recently announced by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
Vanderbilt boasted two of the three nominated in District 3 with Florida State’s Matheu Nelson also receiving the distinction. Rocker and Leiter were also two of three SEC players to be named player of the year for their respective district being joined by Arkansas’ Kevin Kopps who represented District 8.
It is the second consecutive season in which a Commodore has received the honor – JJ Bleday was recognized in 2019 as the Player of the Year.
The pair of Commodore arms are also finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy and semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award.
One of the nation’s top arms, Rocker has been a force on the Vanderbilt pitching staff all season. The right-hander leads the nation in wins with 13 on the season which is one shy of the Vanderbilt single-season record.
The former National Freshman of the Year ranks second in the nation in strikeouts with 155. An Athens, Georgia, product, Rocker was named to the All-SEC First Team following the regular season marking the second time in his career receiving conference postseason honors.
Leiter has been impressive for the Commodores this season. In his first career SEC start, Leiter threw a no-hitter against No. 16 South Carolina while picking up 16 strikeouts in the effort. He went on to work 20.2 consecutive no-hit innings, following up with seven no-hit frames at Missouri in the next week, and four no-hit frames at LSU the week after.
Leiter leads the nation in strikeouts with 156 on the campaign while striking out 10 or more batters in nine of his 16 starts.
Leiter was tabbed as the SEC Newcomer of the Year for his spectacular performance this season while also being named to the All-SEC First Team.
NCBWA District Players of the Year
District 1 – Nicholas Sinacola, Maine
District 2 – Kyler Fedko, Connecticut
District 3 – Matheu Nelson, Florida State, Jack Leiter, Vanderbilt, Kumar Rocker, Vanderbilt
District 4 – Connor Norby, East Carolina
District 5 – Andrew Taylor, Central Michigan
District 6 – Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Oklahoma State
District 7 – Jace Jung, Texas Tech; Kevin Kopps, Arkansas
District 8 – Paul Skenes, Air Force
District 9 – Aaron Zavala, Oregon