Randall Ready for Start in Elimination Game

OMAHA, Neb. – These are the moments Hudson Randall thrives in. Florida's back is against the wall and facing elimination from the College World Series. The junior right-hander has come up big in these moments. He doesn't throw over 90 mph very often, but he's capable of outdueling any team's ace across the country. There's no one Florida would rather have on the mound with its season on the line.

"Huddy is the Ice Man," Florida shortstop Nolan Fontana told Florida's official website Sunday. "He has always been that way and will always be that way. He loves the ball in these situations. There's no other guy we'd rather have it.

"He's our guy right now. We're excited to get out there again."

The right-hander has a history of success in these settings. He allowed two earned runs in 14 innings of work over two starts at the College World Series last year. In the last two NCAA Tournaments, Randall is 4-0 with a 1.54 ERA.

When Florida needed a strong start from Randall to start the Super Regionals, he delivered with seven shutout innings against North Carolina State and might have gone longer if not for the rain delay that halted play for two hours.

"Ever since I got here in college, I've been living for those big moments," Hudson Randall said. "I feel like I rise to the occasion. I love those moments, so I'm excited to get out there for my team tomorrow."

After Brian Johnson lasted just over four innings against South Carolina on Saturday night, the Gators could use a lengthy start from Randall. He will take the mound Monday on eight days rest after throwing 94 pitches against the Wolfpack.

Thought Randall is used to starting the first game of a series, he takes pride in giving the bullpen some time off.

"I love going out there and going the whole game for my team and saving the bullpen bullets," Randall said. "I'm just going out there to try and get the momentum back on our side, back where it needs to be and get our team back on top."

The issue for Florida will be forgetting about what happened on Saturday against the Gamecocks. The five-run fifth inning for South Carolina was too much for the Gators to overcome and ended up being what was enough to end the game.

"Flushing yesterday and moving on to Kent State," Fontana said about the team's mentality. "We've got to flush everything that happened (Saturday). A lot of things didn't go right for us, but that's the way the game is."

The veteran players are trying to create a sense of calm among the young players. Three straight College World Series appearances give Florida plenty of players on the roster that have played in this environment.

"Of course we're all bummed about (Saturday), but losses are going to happen," Randall said. "It's double elimination for a reason. We have that postseason, playoff caliber team. I feel comfortable with our team still."

Randall's scouting report of Kent State during Sunday's practice with head coach Kevin O'Sullivan.

"Sully and I just talked about them (Sunday) at practice," Randall said. "It's a lineup that we've faced before. It's nothing out of the ordinary. They're a real solid club 1-9, and that's why they're here. I'm just going to stick with my game plan and see what we can do."

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