There’s almost no way of slowing down the top team in the land this year. The Florida Gators are one of the most complete teams in college baseball. Their roster is stacked with top tier talent, and most of those players were key pieces to last year’s national championship squad. With just two weekends left in the SEC this season, Florida (18-6) leads second-place Georgia (15-9) in the league standings by three games and third-place Arkansas (14-10) by four. They are probably going to win the regular season SEC championship and be the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
For the Aggies, who are fighting for their regional hosting lives, the bare minimum result this weekend was simply avoiding a sweep at home. Losing a home series is never a good thing for a team’s RPI. The biggest reason that A&M is even in the hosting conversation at all despite losing five of their eight SEC series is because they’ve avoided being swept thus far. The odds of hosting are definitely stacked against the Ags right now, but the hopes live to fight another day nonetheless.
- Florida’s starter, Brady Singer, had a career day on the mound. He scattered six hits, no walks, and two hit batters, while striking out five in his first career complete game shutout. The Aggie offense wasn’t able to get anything going until the bottom of the fourth. With two outs and a 1-0 Florida lead, Singer hit Hunter Coleman with his 1-1 offering, followed by back-to-back singles from Will Frizzell and Cam Blake to load the bases. Singer then got George Janca to fly out to quell the A&M threat. The Aggies weren’t able to get more than one baserunner in any inning after the fourth.
- Mitchell Kilkenny took the mound for A&M. Aside from a two-out E5 allowing an unearned run in the first, Kilkenny was very good. He allowed just one hit, an infield single in the second, in the next 16 batters. However, with two outs in the sixth, a single and a triple chased Kilkenny from the game. His final line: 5.2 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits, no walks, and seven strikeouts.
- John Doxakis battled through 5.0+ innings, but he wasn’t his sharpest. He made quick work of the Gators in the first, as he struck out two of three in that inning, including SEC Player of the Year favorite Jonathan India on three pitches. He worked around a lead off single in the second, but he loaded the bases with one out in the third. The Gators’ India hit into an RBI fielder’s choice to open the scoring. Dox breezed through the next two innings, but in the sixth he was unable to record an out before he was lifted for Asa Lacy. In all, Dox allowed four runs (three earned) on three hits, four walks, and five strikeouts in his 5.0+ innings.
- The Aggie offense, on the other hand, wasn’t able to get anything going against Florida’s Jackson Kowar. They didn’t pick up their first hit until a George Janca infield single broke up a potential no-no in the fifth. The Ags did answer Florida’s three-run sixth with their first run of the weekend, however, as a two-out, bases-loaded wild pitch scored Michael F. Helman, but that was all A&M would muster on the evening.
- A&M’s offense finally woke up in this one. Down 2-0 in the second, the Ags put runners at the corners with one out, and they scored their first run of the afternoon on a balk. Aaron Walters followed up with an RBI double, before a George Janca RBI singled to right made it 3-2 Ags. With the game knotted at three in the bottom of the third, Hunter Coleman cranked a one-out WHAMMY to left to give the Aggies the lead back, 4-3. The game remained 4-3 until the sixth, when Cole Bedford went oppo-taco off the right field foul pole to extend the Aggie lead to 5-3. Finally, with two out in the seventh and runners at the corners, Coleman skied a ball to shallow center. The center fielder was unable to make the grab, and two unearned runs scored to push the lead to 7-3.
- Stephen Kolek fought through 6.2 innings in this one, allowing three runs on six hits, four walks, and five strikeouts. After giving up A&M’s 3-2 lead in the third, he shut the Gators down until a two-out, four-pitch walk in the seventh. With Kolek at 111 pitches on the afternoon, Rob Childress went to the bullpen and A&M’s closer, Nolan Hoffman, who allowed two hits and a walk over the remaining two and a third innings and picked up his 10th save on the season.
- Bonus note: A&M played error-free baseball! Look what happens when you play clean ball in the field!
The Aggies have the midweek off before they head to Fayetteville next weekend. So, rest up because there’s two weekend series left in the regular season.