NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Despite an impressive performance by the Blue Devil pitching staff, the Duke baseball team fell, 3-0, in a pitchers’ duel with second-ranked Vanderbilt Saturday evening at Hawkins Field. With the loss, the Blue Devils move to 35-26 on the season as the NCAA Nashville Super Regional series is now evened at one apiece.
Sophomore Bryce Jarvis (5-2) suffered the tough-luck loss, despite another quality outing in his second start of the NCAA postseason. The second-year right hander worked 7.0 innings of one-run baseball, allowing five hits and four hits while striking out nine. The duo of sophomore Thomas Girard and freshman Jack Carey covered the final 2.0 frames, combining to allow two earned runs on five hits.
Kumar Rocker (10-5) earned the win, notching the complete game no-hitter for the Commodores to keep the Blue Devils off the board. Rocker yielded only two walks, while striking out 19 batters on the evening to notch the complete-game effort. The performance marked the first no-hitter thrown in NCAA Super Regionals history.
After four scoreless frames to begin the game, the Commodores got on the board with one run in the fifth. With two down in the inning, a single to right center gave Vanderbilt a baserunner before the runner stole second and later advanced to third on a wild pitch. One batter later, a single to right field brought across the game’s first run to give the Commodores a 1-0 lead.
Vanderbilt added two insurance runs in the eighth to cushion its lead. The inning began with a leadoff triple before a sacrifice fly brought across the first run of the frame. A bunt single followed by a double placed runners on second and third before a squeeze play plated another run for the Commodores to set the score at 3-0, the eventual final.
The two teams return to the diamond tomorrow afternoon for a winner-take-all game three, as a trip to Omaha is at stake. The decisive game three is set for a 3 p.m. ET first pitch at Hawkins Field, with coverage airing live on ESPN 2. Duke looks to make its first trip to Omaha since 1961, ending a 58-year drought of a College World Series appearance.
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