Florida baseball takes down Texas to advance in 2018 College World Series

By Adam Silverstein
June 19, 2018
Florida baseball takes down Texas to advance in 2018 College World Series
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Image Credit: Baseball America

Two days after an untimely loss sent No. 1 Florida Gators baseball into the loser’s bracket, the program bounced back with some of the magic potion that allowed them to maintain the nation’s top ranking most of the season. Florida took down the No. 13 Texas Longhorns 6-1 on Tuesday, advancing in the 2018 College World Series with more tough tests ahead.

Though the Gators once again struggled to hit with runners in scoring position — for the most part, at least — junior right-handed pitcher Jackson Kowar (6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 13 K) registered a career-high strikeout total in arguably his best outing in orange and blue to keep the sheet clean until the later innings.

Florida led Texas 1-0 most of the game until the Gators broke free with a four-run sixth. After plating a run, UF saw junior third baseman Jonathan India tower a ball deep over the left field for a three-run homer that provided his team the cushion its been seeking much of the postseason. The homer was the 21st of the year for India (2/5, HR, 4 RBI, R), who played well Tuesday despite a mind-numbing base-running miscue earlier in the game.

Junior RHP Michael Byrne (2.0 IP, 3 H, K) got tagged a bit in the bottom of the ninth but stayed strong to close out the game.

Though Florida was able to hit late, it still struggled to do so timely much of the game. The Gators were 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position on the afternoon, leaving eight on base. Expanding those figures over the last 38 innings, UF is 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position, leaving 29 aboard.

Florida will next play the loser of No. 5 Arkansas vs. No. 9 Texas Tech in an elimination game on Thursday, June 21 at 8 p.m. ET live on ESPNU.

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