Mark Leiter Jr. recorded 20 strikeouts in a game for New Jersey Institute of Technology on Friday, the most in an NCAA Division I game this year.
Leiter Jr. got a win in the complete game, 5-3 victory over Chicago State. The senior right-hander had a strong end to the game, recording the last eight outs of the game as strikeouts. The last hit he allowed was a three-run home run in the seventh inning to Dylan Sterett.
Aside from throwing 20 strikeouts, Mark Leiter Jr. allowed only four hits and two walks in the contest.
For those familiar with the name Mark Leiter Jr., it’s because the pitcher comes from a famous sports lineage. His father, Mark Leiter Sr., is a former major league pitcher who had an 11-year career from 1990 to 2001 that included stops with eight different teams. He had a career 65-73 record with a 4.57 ERA.
Mark Leiter Jr. is also the nephew of pitcher Al Leiter, who had an even more successful career than his brother Mark. He was a No. 1 starter through the mid 1990s, the ace of the New York Mets rotation when the team went to the World Series in 2000. Al had a 162-132 record over his career with a 3.80 ERA.
Mark Leiter Jr. with his 20 strikeouts have now created a new name in the Leiter family. The NJIT pitcher threw the most strikeouts of any NCAA Division I pitcher this year, though he didn’t come close to the all-time mark of 26 strikeouts set by Buddy Schultz for Miami of Ohio against Wright State in April 1973.
Mark Leiter Jr. had thrown 14 strikeouts before, also coming in a home game against Chicago State in a seven-inning game in May 2011.
At 5-6 on the season, Mark Leiter Jr. was dominant in his 20 strikeout performance. He struck out the side in the second, eighth, and ninth innings and had at least two strikeouts in every inning except the first.