Vanderbilt freshman Jack Leiter, the son of former MLB All-Star Al Leiter, pitched five no-hit innings and struck out 12 of 16 batters Tuesday in one of the best debuts in program history.

He wanted to get closer to a complete game no-hitter, but didn’t dare question coach Tim Corbin’s decision to pull him after 80 pitches of an almost flawless performance.

“I felt great. When he told me I was done, I was a little surprised,” Leiter said. “But I definitely get it — first outing, a little bit of a colder day. I wasn’t going to fight him.”

Leiter’s debut came as No. 1 Vanderbilt (2-2) won 3-0 over South Alabama (2-2) in the home opener, but the result almost seemed secondary to the pitching performance.

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It wasn’t Kumar Rocker’s epic no-hitter as a freshman in last year’s NCAA Super Regional.

There were no do-or-die postseason consequences. The Hawkins Field seats weren’t packed in a cold, light rain. And some fans at home turned their attention to the Vanderbilt-Tennessee basketball game on TV from Knoxville.

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