COLLEGE WORLD SERIES REPORT:

Every 3 years suit Van Horn

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Dave Van Horn, Arkansas head coach, talks to the press Tuesday, June 19, 2018 after game eight of the NCAA Men's College World Series between Arkansas and Texas Tech was postponed at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.
Photo by Ben Goff
Dave Van Horn, Arkansas head coach, talks to the press Tuesday, June 19, 2018 after game eight of the NCAA Men's College World Series between Arkansas and Texas Tech was postponed at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.

OMAHA, Neb. -- Arkansas Razorbacks Coach Dave Van Horn has taken his club to five College World Series in his 16 years.

The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville has played at the CWS in 2004, 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018, so he's averaging an appearance just about every three years.

That's the plan, he said.

"You know, we just tell every class that comes here, 'Hopefully before you leave here you'll play in Omaha,' " Van Horn said last week. "It is so hard to get to Omaha.

"I don't know. If you can get there every three years, it's ... unless you just run into a couple of incredible recruiting classes back to back and you get some older guys not to sign and come back for their senior year or a guy like Andrew Benintendi, who signed after his sophomore year, to come back for one more year.

"You just have to try to reload every year. That's what we're going to try to do. We're going to try to get back again next year, too."

K is for Kowar

Florida right-hander Jackson Kowar struck out a career-high 13 batters Tuesday against Texas. The 13 strikeouts represented a high for a Gators pitcher at the College World Series.

Kowar is the first pitcher with 13 strikeouts at the CWS since UCLA's Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer did it in 2010.

Kowar's stint of 6 2/3 innings ended with consecutive strikeouts of Tate Shaw and Ryan Reynolds after Masen Hibbeler's double put runners at second and third with nobody out.

Kowar allowed no runs on 5 hits with 2 walks while throwing 121 pitches.

Dandy dozen

The first 10 Razorbacks to bat reached base in the sixth inning of Sunday's 11-5 victory over Texas, which was an outstanding feat but not a team record.

Though precise records are not known for certain, the record for the Razorbacks is at least 12 consecutive batters. The first dozen batters of the game reached base for Arkansas in a 32-8 victory over Saint Louis in 2010 that went seven innings.

JJ's back

Florida senior JJ Schwarz returned from a three-week absence due to a hand injury for the Gators' opener at the College World Series. Instead of playing his regular position of catcher, Schwarz played first base, and his lack of familiarity with the position showed during Sunday's 6-3 loss to Texas Tech.

Schwarz did not come off the bag to catch an errant throw from shortstop Deacon Liput with two outs in the fifth inning, and the wide throw allowed runners to reach second and third base. The next batter, Gabe Holt, hit a chopper on which Schwarz could not make a back-handed stop, allowing it to reach right field for a two-run single as the Red Raiders took a 3-1 lead.

Schwarz is 1 for 9 at the CWS and is now hitting .319.

'Burg'er time

Mississippi State freshman Jordan Westburg delivered the biggest blow of the Bulldogs 12-2 victory over North Carolina in the winner's bracket game Tuesday.

Westburg launched a two-out grand slam in the second inning after the Tar Heels committed an error, making all the runs unearned. The home run was given up by Austin Bergner, who retired 16 consecutive batters from the second into the eighth inning.

Gators pitching

Florida Coach Kevin O'Sullivan would not commit to his starter for the team's next elimination game, which is scheduled for Thursday against the loser of Arkansas and Texas Tech.

He was asked whether freshman lefty Jack Leftwich would start, or possibly freshman right-hander Tommy Mace.

"I tell all of them the same thing," O'Sullivan said. "They've been through the SEC, been through a regional, super regional. Both Jack and Tommy pitched outstanding against Auburn [in the super regional].

"So Jack's certainly capable. He has a live arm. Him and Tommy are next in line. I've said that all year. After Brady [Singer] and Jackson [Kowar] leave, those are the two that are next in line.

"So it would be nice to save Tommy for a potential fourth game, but we can't do that. It's going to be interesting to see what happens. Looks like the weather might be a little iffy tomorrow. If we get pushed back to Friday, Saturday, Sunday, you know maybe Brady's got a chance to pitch three times in this tournament. I don't know."

4 times 2

Four Florida players racked up two hits each as the Gators totaled 10 hits in their 6-1 elimination game victory over Texas. Nelson Maldonado, Jonathan India, Austin Langworthy and Blake Reese had two hits apiece. India, the SEC Player of the Year, launched his 21st home run of the season, a three-run shot in the sixth inning. Eight-hole hitter Nick Horvath hit his seventh, a solo shot, in the eighth.

Sports on 06/20/2018

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