Jack Leiter’s Unbelievable Pitching Feat

Special To Collegiate Baseball

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — One of the greatest streaks in college baseball history just unfolded.

Vanderbilt RHP Jack Leiter went 20 2/3 consecutive innings without allowing a hit before it was stopped by Louisiana St.

The start of the streak took place as he registered his final 2 outs against Oklahoma St. without a hit.

One week later, Leiter threw a 9-inning no-hitter against South Carolina with 16 strikeouts.

He followed that up by throwing 7 more no-hit innings against Missouri with 10 strikeouts before he was pulled.

A week later, the streak was halted when Collier Cranford of LSU singled to lead off the bottom of the fifth.

The NCAA Div. I Baseball Record Book doesn’t have a category for consecutive innings by a pitcher without allowing a hit.

But it does have Fewest Hits Allowed Per 9 Innings. The season record is 3.21 by George Dugan of Murray State in 1964 (20 in 56 innings).

Leiter is currently shattering that mark with a 2.14 figure as he has allowed just 10 hits in 42 innings.

He has posted a 7-0 record and 0.43 ERA with 71 strikeouts.

No pitcher in NCAA Div. I history has done what Leiter is currently doing with limiting hits in baseball games.

Over seven starts this season, he has faced 154 batters. While he has given up only 10 hits all year, no batter has had more than one hit against him all season in a game.

Remarkable Achievement
Scott Brown, pitching coach at Vanderbilt, said the streak Leiter had was unparalleled.

“I’ve coached a lot of good pitchers over the years,” said Brown.

“Jack has been extremely consistent so far this season as far as limiting hits.

“His ability to execute at a high level with four pitches has been really good.”

Brown explained what makes Leiter so difficult to hit.

“Jack has a great combination of things working for him now as far as a 4-pitch mix, good deception with pitches coming out of the same release point, utilizing pitching sequences to his advantage and having him throw to batters’ weaknesses.

“He has a very good intuition probably from the upbringing of his dad Al who pitched 19 years in the Major Leagues. I know he has talked at length with his dad on how to pitch from his many experiences in pro baseball and how to attack hitters.

“Jack is very deceptive as a pitcher. He gets down the mound very well and has very good extension. His fastball and other pitches come out of a little lower release angle in the vertical approach angle that may be a different look than most pitchers.

“His fastball (94 mph which tops out at 98 mph) has very good ride. It is very difficult to get on top of by hitters. Then you pair that with the ability to throw a breaking ball, slider, cutter and changeup off that and execute those pitches at a very high level with good command and deception, it makes it challenging for hitters.

“Every single pitch comes out of the same window, and he has tight release points with his pitches. At the beginning of last season, his curve was a little bit higher. But every pitch looks the same at release now which is difficult for hitters to pick up pitches.”

To read the rest of the story, purchase the April 23, 2021 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. Vanderbilt pitching coach Scott Brown explains the remarkable deception Jack Leiter has, how his working tempo has been improved, the art of calling pitches, learning from his dad Al Leiter, a former Major League pitcher for 19 years, how the 2020 COVID-19 shortened season was an avenue to improve during the summer as he developed his pitches, and the importance of the 6 Leiter Ladies in his life (mom, 3 sisters and 2 female dogs). It also explains the 3-way dynamic of Al and Jack Leiter and pitching coach Scott Brown, plus more.