Ramjit Helps Gators Past Ole Miss

Vickash Ramjit was nowhere to be found on box scores early in the season. On Friday night, Ole Miss couldn't get him out of their mind. The redshirt sophomore first baseman's four-hit performance led the offense while Hudson Randall was dominant, allowing No. 4 Florida to secure a 9-3 win over the Rebels in front of 3,739 at McKethan Stadium.

"I just try to take every opportunity I can get, and our team is stacked," Ramjit said. "I'm just happy to contribute. I'm just here to help the team. These coaches have been nothing but great in support of me and helped me a lot.

Ramjit drove two doubles down the left field line in his first two at-bats, scoring runs both times. After a single in the fifth inning, Ramjit lined an RBI single to right field that gave the Gators (32-10/15-4 SEC) some extra cushion while making it 7-3.

He got the start at first base with left-hander Matt Crouse starting on the mound for Ole Miss. Ramjit is easily heard on the bench during games, known as one of the biggest cheerleaders on the team, and the team rallied around his performance Friday.

"Those are the things that bring a team together," Florida head coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "When a guy who doesn't get many opportunities up to this point does and you get a 4-for-5 night out of him.

"He's into every ball game. He'll do everything he possibly can. He'll keep a chart, he'll throw with the left fielder or do whatever it needs to be. He's always there to help out, and he certainly deserved this tonight."

The Florida offense scored at least a run in seven of their eight times to the plate. It was the second time they accomplished this, with the first time happening against Winthrop.

The Gators had at least two runners on base in seven of their eight innings at the plate. In six of the eight, they had two base runners on with one out or less. The one downfall for the offense came as the Gators left 13 runners on base. It's a knock on any offense that pieces together a lot of hits, but Florida knows it needs to get the number lower.

The only disappointment to O'Sullivan came in the fifth inning when the Gators loaded the bases after a Brian Johnson leadoff home run, but they couldn't add on any more runs.

"The only glitch in the whole thing was in the fifth when we didn't push anything across, but we scored in almost every inning. It's hard to be upset about that one inning, but we need to do a better job. We did apply pressure the whole night."

As usual, the Gators didn't need many runs with Hudson Randall (8-1) on the mound. The sophomore went 7.1 innings, giving up six hits and three runs while tying a season high with six strikeouts.

The right-handers control improved as his start went on. When Randall was lifted from the game, he had thrown first pitch strikes to 13 of the last 14 batters he faced. Randall threw 64 of his 82 total pitches (78.1%) for strikes.

"When you get 7.1 from your starter on Friday night who gives up three runs, you'll take that every time," O'Sullivan said. "He pitched great. They're a very offensive team with a lot of strength. They're aggressive, and you've got to make some pitches early in the count."

Two of the three runs Randall allowed came on solo home runs. The first came early, as Alex Yarbrough launched a one-out home run into the right-center field bullpen with one out in the first inning.

Austin Anderson homered to right field in the fifth inning for the final run Randall would allow. Anderson, a freshman from Mount Dora, Fla., was 3-for-3 off Randall with the home run and two doubles.

His control wasn't as good as Randall had only allowed three home runs on the season before Friday, and all of those came three weeks ago at Mississippi State.

"Sully always tells us that if we give up one, don't give up two," Randall said. "You've got to stop the bleeding and give our offense a chance to come back. I did that and gave us a chance to get the lead, and the bullpen did a great job to close it out."

Josh Adams chipped in four hits while Austin Maddox, Brian Johnson and Bryson Smith each had two hits.

The series continues Saturday at 7 p.m. Brian Johnson (6-1, 2.53) will start for the Gators, while Ole Miss will send David Goforth (3-5, 4.60).

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