Florida righty Jackson Kowar (Aaron Fitt)

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The Evolution Of Jackson Kowar

At The Ballpark

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — In his first season as a weekend starter last spring, Jackson Kowar pitched well — but maybe not as well as his 12-1 record would suggest. He finished with a 4.08 ERA — very respectable, especially for someone who spent the year pitching in the daytime as the Sunday starter, but there’s no question that his win-loss record benefitted from some outstanding run support.

That run support has followed Kowar to Saturdays as a junior; after a series-clinching 10-2 win against Vanderbilt, the Gators are averaging nine runs per game in Kowar’s starts.

“I don’t know,” catcher JJ Schwarz said, when asked for a theory about why the Gators hit so well with Kowar on the mound. “It was like that last year too on Sundays. I don’t know what it is. He’s just a lucky guy, I guess.”

But it’s better to be lucky and good, and right now, Kowar is both. He held the Commodores to just one unearned run on five hits and three walks while striking out six over 6 1/3 strong innings of work Saturday, improving to 5-1, 2.68 on the season through seven starts. Kowar’s arm strength has never been in question, but he’s made steady progress with his command and pitchability over the course of his Gator career, helping him mature into a dependable weekend workhorse.


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