Freshman Kumar Rocker helped the Vanderbilt Commodores win by a score of 4-1 over Michigan and thus force a decisive Game 3 on Wednesday night to determine the national championship for 2019.
Rocker went 6 1/3 innings of one-run, three-hit ball while striking out 11 and walking two thanks to his outstanding fastball-breaking ball combo. He also became just the ninth pitcher in finals history to strike out 10 or more batters in a game. Rocker escaped jams in the fourth -- Michigan stole three bases in the inning but failed to score a run -- and sixth before giving way to relief ace Tyler Brown in the seventh. Despite allowing an inherited runner to score, Brown closed it out with 2 2/3 strong frames
Vandy plated a pair of runs in the fifth on wild pitches, and then catcher Philip Clarke notched the first and only home run of the game.
Jordan Nwogu was removed from the game and while exiting the field was unable to put weight on his right leg. Nwogu batted a productive .339/.459/.593 with 14 stolen bases and 23 extra-base hits for the Wolverines this season. Needless to say, he'd be a critical loss if he's unable to play in Game 3.
The decisive Game 3 can be seen on ESPN Wednesday beginning at 7 p.m. ET.