FLORIDA 6, TEXAS 1
OMAHA, NE– If this is the last start of Jackson Kowar’s collegiate career, then he went out with quite the memorable performance.
The junior from Charlotte was called upon as the Gators faced elimination against Texas on Tuesday. Not only did, Kowar answer the call, he exceeded expectations and set a program record in lifting Florida past the Longhorns to advance in the College World Series.
Florida jumped to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning as Deacon Liput led off the game with a four-pitch walked and scored when Jonathan India singled to left two batters later. However, as was the case for most of the day, Florida wasted an opportunity to open the floodgates. RF Wil Dalton hit into a double play before JJ Schwarz ended the inning with a fly out to center.
In the second inning, the Gators had the bases loaded with no outs, but were unable to score. Florida would load the bases again in the third and force Texas to go to their bulpen. Chase Shugart was able to strike out Blake Reese to end the inning.
Florida’s offense would struggle until the sixth inning.
Florida’s offense finally clicked in the sixth (mostly with two outs) adding a four-spot in the frame. Reese led off the inning with a double to right. Nelson Maldonado hit a two-out RBI single to center followed by India crushing a three-run homer to left field to put Florida ahead 5-0.
The Gators added an extra insurance run with a Nick Horvath homer in the eighth.
Texas would add their lone run in the bottom of the eighth as C DJ Petrinsky singled to center, scoring PH Austin Todd.
Kowar’s performance can’t be overstated. Kowar struck out a CWS program record thirteen batters (all via swinging strikeouts) in 6.2 innings while allowing only five hits and walking two Longhorns.
Kowar was selected by the Kansas City Royals with the thirty-third pick in the MLB amateur draft earlier this month.
Michael Byrne finished the final two innings for the Gators, allowing three hits, but not giving up earned runs (he did allow an inherited runner to score in the eighth, though).
India and Maldonado each went 2-5 with a homer to lead the offensive charge. Austin Langworthy went 2-3 with a walk.
Florida will face the loser of the Texas Tech – Arkansas winner in an elimination game scheduled for Thursday night.
W: Kowar (10-5)
L: Blair Hensley (6-7)