After opening SEC play with high-energy bats, the No.5 Florida Gators put up three runs to take down Texas A&M. On Friday, Florida burst at the plate scoring 13 runs. Tommy Mace was lights out with 11 strikeouts.
However, the star of Friday’s game goes to Jack Leftwhich. In his fifth start on the year, he did not disappoint.
The right-handed pitcher was solid through seven innings against the Aggies. Leftwitch through for six strikeouts, two walks and one earned run, a solo shot off the bat of Will Frizzell. He faced 23 batters giving up three hits.
“I think he was good last week, too. The last few starts have been really good. There’s a little bit of competitiveness with him and Tommy (Mace) and I think one feeds off the other,” Gator head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said.
Leftwhich improves to 4-0 on the season giving the pitching staff more consistency. Additionally, he lowers his ERA to just 1.71 and has held batters to a .144 average at the plate.
From 13 to 3
The plate is where the Gators have dominated. Putting up countless double-digit finals this season, a low-scoring game seems out of a character. Nonetheless, Sterlin Thompson tied the game in the fourth inning on an RBI single to center. The scoring would stay silent for both SEC teams until the seventh. Catcher Mac Gusette had an RBI liner to the center. Jud Fabian would ground into a double play, but Colby Halter would score. Florida would extend their lead to 3-1 over Texas A&M.
Florida Clinches First SEC Series
Much anticipation has been had over Florida’s first swing against the SEC. With South Carolina and Ole Miss on the horizon, it was imperative for the Gators to take hold of the first series. And they did. Two back-to-back wins secure the series victory for the orange and blue.
“Like I said last night, it’s really hard to win a series against anybody in the league, especially a really good club like Texas A&M. It was a well-pitched game on both sides. Jack (Leftwich) matched their starter pitch-for-pitch and was really good and really efficient,” Skipper Sullivan said.
The two teams will meet again Saturday for the curtain call of the first SEC opponent either team has faced. Florida will send Hunter Barco to the hill hoping for another sweep. First pitching slated for 1 p.m.