Smith's RBI Single All Gators Need vs. Miami

No. 1 Florida searched for a big hit all Saturday, but it wouldn't come until head coach Kevin O'Sullivan went to his bench. Bryson Smith lined a one-out single to right field in the eighth inning to give the Gators a 1-0 win after Hudson Randall dealt seven shutout innings.

Smith's single erased a frustrating start to his season, as the senior started the year 4-for-17 (.235) at the plate before the hit.

Second baseman Josh Adams started the rally to lead off the eighth inning. He fell behind on an 0-2 count but worked the rest of the at-bat to earn a seven-pitch walk. Miami then pulled starting pitcher EJ Encinosa (0-2) after seven innings of work, calling on left-handed specialist Sam Robinson.

Nolan Fontana dropped down a bunt to move Adams to second, and O'Sullivan went to the bench. The left-handed Kamm Washington started in center field, but O'Sullivan sent right-handed Bryson Smith to the plate to eliminate the advantage Miami had with a left-hander on the mound. Smith lined a 1-1 pitch into right field and Adams scored from second base without a throw.

"That was a clutch situation, and they brought in that lefty," Smith said. "I knew I had to get a ball up and drive it. The key with pressure is staying relaxed and within yourself, so that's what I did."

The only disappointment in the Florida dugout was that it couldn't produce a run earlier to earn a win for starting pitcher Hudson Randall. For the second straight week, the right-hander was impressive and didn't record a victory because of run support. Randall went seven shutout innings, allowing one hit and one hit batter while recording five strikeouts. He threw 86 pitches, 58 for strikes.

Randall pitched well in his first two starts of the year, but even he said after both that his location wasn't as good as he wanted it to be. That changed Saturday.

"My arm felt great and I feel like I'm in the swing of things now after my third start," Randall said. "My main focus this last week was to get the ball down because I was up (in the strike zone) last week. I just wanted more ground balls."

Ten of the 21 outs Randall recorded came on the ground. His seven innings of work were the most any Florida starter has gone this season.

"Hudson is very consistent. You know what you're going to get. We made a decision to pull him because it's a long season and we have a ton of confidence in our bullpen."

Anthony DeSclafani (1-0) threw the final two innings, getting four ground ball outs and two strikeouts. He struck out Zeke DeVoss and Shane Rowland as the final two batters of the game. The emotion DeSclafani showed on the mound after the game was with a few fist pumps seemed to serve as a welcome back for him.

"That was great. It was awesome. I've never (closed a game) here before, so it was just a great feeling, and just against Miami, it was awesome."

DeSclafani has allowed only three hits in 8.2 innings this year while recording nine strikeouts. He hasn't allowed a run yet this season.

"I was awfully glad to see (DeSclafani) have the outing he did," O'Sullivan said. "He has worked awfully hard and we have a ton of confidence in him. Now we go into tomorrow with our bullpen fresh and have a ton of guys we can go to."

Randall and DeSclafani combined to throw the first one-hitter since 2002. The one hit came from Miami center fielder Dale Carey one a line drive up the middle in the sixth inning. A pitch also hit Carey in the third inning, serving as the only Miami hitter to reach base all day.

The Gators will go for the sweep on Sunday against Miami. Freshman Karsten Whitson (2-0, 0.87) will take the mound for Florida against the Hurricanes sophomore right-hander Eric Whaley (2-0, 2.13).

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