Royals fans had to be happy with what they saw from the Florida pitchers in this first two games of the Gators' Super Regional against Auburn.
On Saturday, Brady Singer struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and two runs. Singer was the 18th overall pick in the draft by the Royals. His teammate Jackson Kowar was selected by the Royals with the 33rd overall pick, and he started Sunday's game.
Kowar allowed one run on three hits with six strikeouts and no walks.
Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan was asked by reporters about the decision to remove Kowar, who had thrown 93 pitches.
"He was almost at 100 pitches and he almost got decapitated," O'Sullivan said. "It's hot, he did the job, he pitched seven full. It was as simple as that."
Wait, what? Decapitated?
Yep, there was a scary moment on the final out Kowar recorded in the game. Auburn's Luke Jarvis lined a pitch back at Kowar, who didn't have time to react. The ball hit Kowar in the glove hand, but he recovered to throw out Jarvis at first base.
Here is the play:
Kowar said he was fine.
"It just got me on mostly glove, a little hand, but it's not bruising, so I'm all good," Kowar told reporters after the game.
O'Sullivan said that the liner was part of the decision to remove Kowar from the game. The Orlando Sentinel reported that Kowar did have a bruise on the hand.
Here is a look at Kowar recording a strikeout earlier in the game: