Although he may just be 19 years old, Kumar Rocker established himself as one of the best pitchers in all of college baseball during Vanderbilt's College World Series run.
He's also the son of former Washington Redskins defensive lineman Tracy Rocker. Tracy played for the 'Skins for two seasons, 1989 and 1990, appearing in 24 games and starting 17 of them.
The elder Rocker played one more season of professional football with the Orlando Thunder of the World Football League before hanging up the cleats for a clipboard. He's been coaching since 1992 and has been the defensive line coach for the University of Tennessee since 2017. Previous stops include stints at Georgia, Auburn, and even a stint with the Tennesse Titans.
Rocker is best known for his playing days at Auburn, where he was a three-time All-SEC selection. But over the past couple weeks, it's been the younger Rocker who has taken the nation by storm.
In the Super Regional round, Kumar Rocker threw a no-hitter against Duke, striking out 19 (!!) of the 27 outs he recorded. He became the first pitcher in the history of College Baseball to throw a no-hitter during that round of the tournament.
In the College World Series Championship, with his Commodores dropping the first game in a best-of-three series, Rocker delivered another gem.
The freshman threw 6 1/3 innings, allowing just one run on three hits, exiting with his team leading 4-0. The bullpen held on, as Vanderbilt defeated Michigan 4-1, to force a decisive Game 3.
He did not pitch in the rubber match, as he threw 104 pitches the day before, but Vanderbilt ended Michigan's Cinderella run with an 8-2 victory in Wednesday's winner-take-all Game 3, clinching the Commodores' first title since 2014.
His performances throughout the tournament earned him the College World Series Most Outstanding Player award, the sixth freshman in history to win it.
Vanderbilt turned to their freshman stud whenever they faced elimination and the numbers speak for themselves.
.@_KumarRocker in elimination games: 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/CY1XXWBr4a— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) June 26, 2019
Kumar Rocker in the NCAA Tournament:— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) June 26, 2019
- 4-0 record
- 0.96 ERA
- 44 K
- 28 IP
He's just a freshman, y'all. pic.twitter.com/D9GXwnTobS
His ability to fool hitters at the plate is another reason why Rocker dominated on the mound this season.
Kumar Rocker, Fastball/Slider Overlay.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 25, 2019
Good look at why it may be tough to hit. 😯 pic.twitter.com/N10auLcATr
While Tracy Rocker had quite the athletic career himself, if his son keeps going on his current path, Kumar Rocker will be a name we hear in the baseball world for years to come.
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