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UAA Communications photo by Tim Casey

Kowar Sharp as No. 1 Gator Baseball Clinches Series Over No. 18 Aggies

The top-ranked Florida baseball team (38-10, 18-5) defeated the 18th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies (33-14, 11-12) by a score of 6-1 in College Station on Saturday. The win clinches a series win for Florida and marks the eighth straight SEC series captured by the Gators this season. Gator starting pitcher Jackson Kowar pitched six stellar innings en route to his eighth win of the season.

Pitching Powers Through

Kowar had arguably his worst outing of the season last week. This week he bounced back by retiring the first 14 hitters he faced. Over the course of his start on Saturday he struck out eight and walked three.

Through his first five innings of work, Kowar was given just one Gator run to work with. Coming into the weekend, he had been receiving a team-high 8.5 runs of support per game. The initial run came in the third inning. Nelson Maldonado was hit by a pitch after back-to-back walks. This loaded the bases for Jonathan India who delivered an RBI via a fielder’s choice.

Kowar’s season ERA now drops to 2.80. He surrendered the lone Aggies run of the day in the sixth inning when Hunter Coleman scored on a wild pitch.

Sixth Inning Scoring

The Gator offense broke the game open in the sixth inning prior to Kowar giving up his only run. JJ Schwarz drove in his fifth RBI of the weekend on a single and then Austin Langworthy added an RBI single up the middle to make it 3-0. Schwarz then came into score on a Blake Reese sacrifice fly to make it a 4-0 Gators advantage.

That wouldn’t be the only Florida sacrifice fly of the game. The Gators added two more runs to their lead in the seventh and eighth innings when Jonathan India and Deacon Liput each hit one of their own. That made the score 6-1 Florida, the eventual final.

Notes

The Florida bullpen again had a solid finish despite running into a little bit of trouble. They surrendered two hits and three walks over the final three innings but didn’t allow any Aggies to score.

Overall, the Gators have now won 18 straight regular-season series. They’ll finish their series against the Aggies on Sunday at 1 p.m. when Florida freshman Jack Leftwich (4-1, 3.50 ERA) gets the start against junior Stephen Kolek (4-4, 3.75 ERA).

About Ryan McGinn

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