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Saturday, December 04, 2021
<p>Center fielder Nick Horvath is hitting .345 this year after failing to break the .200 mark in his first two seasons.</p>

Center fielder Nick Horvath is hitting .345 this year after failing to break the .200 mark in his first two seasons.

During the beginning of his career at UF, Gators center fielder Nick Horvath struggled in the batter’s box. His average at the plate was below .200 in each of the last two seasons and he failed to record more than two extra-base hits in either of his first two years as a Gator.

But during Tuesday night’s 12-6 win against the Seminoles, the senior went 3-for-4 and collected his 20th hit of the year, surmounting his total number of hits over last two years combined.

“I’m older,” Horvath said. “I took some things in the offseason and kind of just worked on those and ran with it. And it’s gotten me here.”

In 58 plate appearances, Horvath is hitting .345 with two home runs, a team-high eight doubles and 13 RBIs. And his coaches are taking notice of it.

“Hitting is arguably the most difficult thing to do in all of sports,” coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “You never know when the light goes on. He’s been in our program for three years and he’s just off to a good start.”

Not only has Horvath’s success at the plate affected him, it’s benefitting the team. The senior’s sudden ability to contribute to the offense has opened up the lineup and made things even more difficult for opposing pitchers.

In Tuesday’s 12-6 victory over Florida State, fellow outfielder Austin Langworthy seemed to bust out of a hitting slump of his own after going 3-for-4 while hitting in the basement of the lineup.

“It’s nice to have (Horvath) down there at the bottom that has a lot of at-bats underneath his belt. He’s certainly off to a good start,” O’Sullivan said.

Horvath contributed to an offensive outburst against the Seminoles that saw the Gators collect their 10th double-digit hitting spree through just 19 games this season. Florida also pieced together its second-highest run total in a game this season leading up to its first conference series this weekend against South Carolina in Columbia.

“I think the biggest thing, when you’re going on the road like this weekend, if you can limit the walks and play good defense, it gives you a chance,” O’Sullivan said.

Follow Justin Ahlum on Twitter @justinn_case1 and contact him at jahlum@alligator.org.

Center fielder Nick Horvath is hitting .345 this year after failing to break the .200 mark in his first two seasons.

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