Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Jack Leiter -- the 19-year-old son of former MLB star Al Leiter -- had 12 strikeouts in his college baseball pitching debut for Vanderbilt.
Leiter did not allow a hit or a run, while issuing just one walk in five innings to earn a win in the 3-0 victory against South Alabama on Tuesday at Hawkins Field in Nashville. The freshman right-handed pitcher struck out the first three batters he faced.
"I don't know if I expected this, but I was confident," Leiter told the SEC Network.
Leiter also had two strikeouts in the second inning, while getting the Jaguars out in order. Leiter struck out three consecutive batters in the third inning before allowing his first base runner with a walk in the fourth. He got back in rhythm in the fifth inning, striking out all three batters. He left the game in the sixth.
Leiter has a fastball topping out in the mid-90s. He also uses a devastating curveball and pinpoint slider to keep hitters off balance.
The Commodores host South Alabama in the final game of the series at 4:30 p.m. EST Wednesday in Nashville.
"He was different," Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said of Leiter. "Jack was very deliberate on the mound. He was getting on there, getting his signs [from the catcher] and getting down the hill [pitcher's mound], using the same mannerisms and same face. That was very impressive for his first time out."
Leiter was selected by the New York Yankees in the 20th round of the 2019 MLB Draft. The 2019 New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year played at Delbarton School in Morristown, N.J.
"Jack's maturity in all areas, on and off the field, is quite noticeable," Corbin said of Leiter. "He competes in everything that he does and the results on the mound and in the classroom are evident of that.
"He will have a chance to impact our staff this year. He possesses a power arm, he can pitch, field his position and understands the running game. Low maintenance player -- just comes to work."
Leiter -- listed at 6 foot, 195 pounds -- was ranked No. 62 in Baseball America's top-150 overall players for 2020. He is Baseball America's top freshman player for 2020 and No. 2 prospect in their 2021 college MLB Draft rankings.
Al Leiter, 54, had a 19-year Major League Baseball career. The left-handed pitcher was a two-time All-Star and two-time World Series winner. He had a 3.80 ERA and 162-132 record while pitching for the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Florida Marlins and New York Mets.