University of Florida sophomore right-hander Hudson Randall (Atlanta, Ga.) was chosen as the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week for the second time in three weeks on Monday after tossing a four-hit shutout on 74 pitches in the series opener against Tennessee last Friday night. He shared the league’s weekly honor with Georgia junior reliever Tyler Maloof and was the first hurler from UF to earn the accolade twice in a season since Johnny Wiggs was recognized three times in 1988 (March 22, April 25, May 9).
The fourth-ranked Gators (24-5/7-2 SEC) swept the Vols by scores of 3-0, 11-2 and 9-1 and are tied atop the league standings with No. 1 Vanderbilt (26-3), No. 3 South Carolina (22-5) and No. 24 Alabama (21-9). UF’s 7-2 beginning to league play matches the 2008 club for the best start in head coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s four-year tenure.
Randall’s sterling effort marked the first time that Florida had held UT scoreless since March 21, 1987. The righty allowed four singles, with four strikeouts and zero walks. More impressively, of his 74 pitches, 59 were strikes and Randall did not go to a three-ball count on any of the 30 batters he faced. He also threw first-pitch strikes to 25 hitters in the contest.
The right-hander became the first Gator with a solo shutout since Tommy Boss on June 6, 2004, versus UCLA in the NCAA Oklahoma City Regional and was the first UF pitcher since Boss in 2005 to register back-to-back complete games after going the distance on March 26 in a 2-1 triumph over defending national champion South Carolina.
He has not surrendered an earned run in 30.1 innings dating back to the second inning against Rhode Island on March 12 and has totaled 16.2 scoreless innings since yielding an unearned run to USC. Randall has not allowed any earned runs in three SEC starts against No. 5 LSU, No. 4 South Carolina and Tennessee spanning 24.2 innings and has captured all three decisions. He leads the SEC with a 0.54 ERA in his seven starts and is a perfect 5-0 with 29 strikeouts and one walk in 49.2 innings, while limiting opponents to a .189 batting average.
LSU junior outfielder Mikie Mahtook was tabbed as the SEC Player of the Week, while Vanderbilt outfielder Tony Kemp and South Carolina right-hander Forrest Koumas were the league’s Co-Freshmen of the Week.
The Gators host UCF (19-9/2-4 C-USA) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at McKethan Stadium and then head to Starkville for a three-game weekend series at Mississippi State (19-9/4-5 SEC).