By Lisa Greenberg
While the hitting has experienced it’s fair share of hiccups, the pitching staff has carried the University of Florida baseball team to a 21-5 record.
Sophomore pitcher Hudson Randall (4-0) is a major part of the team’s pitching prowess.
The 6’3” pitcher from Atlanta pitched his first complete game against University of South Carolina last weekend, only giving up 5 singles, one unearned run and four walks. Randall lowered his already impressive ERA to 0.66 and struck out four USC players.
In response to the team’s offensive woes, Randall is confident in the hitters’ ability to turn their game around.
“I know that they are going to pick me up sometime when I am down. I am just trying to do what I can to help them out when they are going through a little struggle right now,” Randall said. “I’m excited to see what is going to happen when our hitters start to hit their stride and pitching keeps doing what they are doing. Hopefully it turns out happening this weekend.”
The University of Florida’s starting pitchers are currently 15-2 with a 2.22 ERA, and with a total staff ERA of 2.42. UF’s ERA is second only to Vanderbilt.
Senior second baseman Josh Adams credits a great deal of the team’s pitching success to Randall.
“He can locate,” Adams said. “As a hitter, it is hard to hit a guy that can put the ball wherever he wants to. He knows your weakness, so it makes it a mind game. Most of the time he wins.”
Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan also offered his praises to Randall.
“I think he has kind of picked up where he left off last year. He led the SEC in ERA. He is just consistent. You can tell from his mound presence that he is different than most,” O’Sullivan said of the SEC Pitcher of the Week (March 21).
Now, Randall and the rest of the Florida Gator baseball team are preparing for the three game series against SEC rival Tennessee.
Randall will be pitching the first game in the series tonight, and has been working on his variety.
“I’d say my curveball has progressed a little bit,” Randall said. “I’ve been working on that a lot. It’s just another option that I have in my repertoire.”
A series sweep against the Volunteers would bring the Gator baseball team’s SEC record to 7-2. Randall hopes to contribute by locking in a win Friday night.
“My number one goal is to not let them score so I am giving a little extra effort when I have runners on base,” Randall said.