Defending National Champion and top-ranked Florida hit three home runs and received 10 strikeouts from Preseason Second Team All-American Jackson Kowar to power past Siena Baseball 10-2 in the middle game of the season opening three-game series at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. MAAC Preseason Player of the Year Joe Drpich accounted for the Saints’ scoring with a two-run homerun in the first.
Drpich highlighted an impressive opening offensive frame against the highly touted Kowar, in which Siena (0-2) strung together four hits against the righthander. But Kowar settled in allowing just two baserunners on a pair of singles over his next six innings of work, while the Florida (2-0) bats pounded out 15 hits and scored 10 unanswered runs to clinch the series.
The Gators got a run back in the home half of the first, and a two-out error opened the door for four unearned runs in the second to give Florida the lead for good. The Gators scored in six of their eight innings at-bat, and recorded eight extra base hits.
Preseason Second Team All-SEC selection JJ Schwarz, Blake Reese, and Nick Horvath all tallied three hits apiece for Florida. Schwarz also homered and drove in three runs, while Horvath scored three times out of the No. 9 spot in the order.
Drpich and senior second baseman Jordan Bishop collected two hits apiece to pace the Saints offensively. Junior southpaw Tommy Miller tossed the first 3.1 innings, and was followed up by freshman righthander Avery Short who went 4.2 innings to close things out in his collegiate debut.
Junior righthander John Nolan takes the mound for Siena in the series finale Sunday at 1 p.m. opposite Gators’ righthander Tyler Dyson.