The Florida Gators baseball team bid farewell to five seniors with a ceremony prior to Friday’s 4-1 win against Mississippi State in McKethan Stadium.
Gator Country photographer Saj Guevara was there to capture all of the moments of the pregame ceremony as well as action from the series-opening win against the Bulldogs.
Be sure to scroll down to the bottom for a link to the photo gallery.
Right-handed pitcher Hudson Randall had his best outing of the year on the mound last weekend in a win over Kentucky.
On Friday night he topped it, throwing seven innings and giving up just one run on five hits as Florida (37-13, 15-10 SEC) topped Mississippi State (30-19, 12-13 SEC) 4-1.
“You can kind of tell by his demeanor where he’s at,” coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “He might be the best pitcher I’ve ever coached, and I know that’s a steep compliment.”
Randall (W 6-1, 3.29 ERA) retired eight straight batters from the second to the fifth inning, as the Gators gave him run support with one run in both the second and third innings.
The junior struck out two batters and faced 26 batters, giving up hits to just three Bulldogs. Mississippi State center fielder Hunter Renfroe went 3-3 against Randall, but the rest of the lineup combined for just two hits as Randall cruised through his second straight easy Friday-night start.
“I feel pretty good,” Randall said. “I felt good, and it was a good team win just using one guy out of the bullpen. Today everything was going my way with all the ground balls going to my infielders and fly balls, as well.”
With Randall on the mound for the first seven innings, Florida only used Steven Rodriguez out of the pen, saving the rest of the staff for the remaining two games in the series.
O’Sullivan raved about Randall’s ability to remain focused on the mound after two dominant outings in a row.
“He just knows what he’s doing on the mound,” he said. “He’s got a knack of keeping the ball off the barrel. He’s always got the count in his favor, he can mix, he’s got four different pitches. He goes out and develops a cutter. He’s not satisfied with his year last year. His change-up is much improved. What can you say? The guy just knows what he’s doing. He doesn’t throw 95, but I wouldn’t trade him for anybody.”
Randall’s strong outing also helped the Gators hand Bulldogs’ pitcher Chris Stratton (L 9-1, 2.22 ERA) his first loss of the season. Stratton pitched seven full innings to match Randall, but a pair of mistakes early on cost him.
To read the rest of the game story by Thomas Goldkamp, click here.
To view the gallery from UF’s Senior Night, click here.