Randall Looking to Bounce Back

Hudson Randall looked invincible. Through his first seven outings, the sophomore right-hander carried a 5-0 record with a 0.54 ERA. Randall hit his first stumbling block Friday at Mississippi State, failing to make it out of the third inning. However, it's what happened last season that has Randall and his teammates confident it won't happen again.

After working his way into the weekend rotation as a freshman last season, Randall struggled in the state of Mississippi again, this time at Ole Miss. He lasted only one inning, giving up five runs on the Saturday of the series, which ended up being the only weekend series the Gators lost all year.

After that, Randall was dialed in for the rest of the season. His name popped up on just about every Freshman All-American team and he threw some of Florida's biggest games of the season, including the game at South Carolina that clinched the SEC Championship and game two of the Super Regional that sent the Gators to the College World Series.

Now, Florida is hoping that his start last week propels him to similar success.

"Since I was on a good streak pitching so well, it's bound to happen," Randall said. "I'm not too worried about it. I was just leaving the ball up and they were taking advantage of it. They weren't swinging at the off-speed much, just waiting on the fastball and swinging at it when they got it."

There wasn't an obvious mechanical flaw that created the struggles. Instead, Randall knew he his pitches were just too high in the strike zone. That isn't how he has experienced so much success in his year and a half of college baseball.

Randall won't break 90-91 mph very often with his fastball, so he depends on pinpoint accuracy to be effective.

"I don't throw really hard or have nasty movement, it's definitely important for me to locate and keep it down," Randall said. "If you ask any pitcher when they get it up, that's when you get hit the most."

ADAMS BOUNCEBACK: The struggles of Josh Adams last season have been well documented. After having a down junior season, the second baseman is experiencing the rebound season that everyone knew was capable.

He is leading the team with a .362 batting average with three home runs and 25 RBIs.

"He's hitting the breaking ball better," Florida head coach Kevin O'Sullivan said about the differences between Adams' two seasons. "When he gets his pitches, he's not missing them. Last year I thought he missed a bunch of them. He is driving pitches."

Adams isn't too sure what sparked his turnaround.

"I honestly couldn't tell you," Adams said with a laughing, shrugging his shoulders. "I'm probably a little more patient at the plate and swinging at a lot of balls out of the zone. This year, I'm just sticking with my approach."

Adams is now swinging the bat like the player who was named First Team All-SEC during his freshman and sophomore years.

"This is a game of ups and downs," O'Sullivan said. "Josh didn't have the year he wanted last year, but I'm proud of how he fought through that adversity for this year."

SMITH COULD RETURN: Senior outfielder Bryson Smith was back in the dugout with the Gators on Tuesday at Florida State. He was arrested on March 13 on a charge of driving under the influence and has been suspended from the team since then.

The head coach said he still isn't sure of his status and when he will see the field.

"We don't know quite yet, but we'll handle that within our team and go with it," O'Sullivan said.

Even having Smith in the dugout was a boost for the Gators. He is one of the most liked players on the team and has the support of the players.

"He's got a great positive attitude, and he's one of the leaders on the team," Florida right fielder Preston Tucker said. "I'd like to think it helps the team as a whole knowing he's on the field with us and back with the team."

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