NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Vanderbilt pitching duo of Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter have been named among 25 semifinalists for the coveted USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, the organization announced Tuesday.
The award is presented annually to the top amateur baseball player. Vanderbilt is one of three schools with multiple semifinalists joining East Carolina and Mississippi State.
One of the nation’s top arms, Rocker has been a force on the Vanderbilt pitching staff all season. The right-hander ranks second in the nation and leads the SEC in wins with 12 which is two shy of the Vanderbilt single-season record.
The former national Freshman of the Year has worked an SEC-leading 98.1 innings this season while ranking second in the conference in strikeouts with 146. The Athens, Georgia, native 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 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 146 while striking out 10 or more batters in eight of his 15 starts.
The Summit, New Jersey, native also leads the conference in strikeouts looking with 48. He ranks third in the nation in hits allowed per nine innings with a mark of 3.94 while placing first in the SEC. Leiter has allowed more than three hits in just three of his 15 starts this season.
The right-hander owns nine wins which ties him for sixth in the league. 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.
Fan voting will be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2021. Beginning with the semifinalist announcement and continuing through the finalist round voting deadline, fans will be able to vote for their favorite player on GoldenSpikesAward.com.
The winner of the 43rd Golden Spikes Award will be named in July. To stay up-to-date on the 2021 Golden Spikes Award visit GoldenSpikesAward.com and follow @USAGoldenSpikes on Twitter and Instagram.