April 1, 2011
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Florida starting pitcher Hudson Randall threw a 74-pitch complete-game shutout to lead the Gators to a 3-0 victory over the Tennessee baseball team on Friday night at McKethan Stadium. He out-dueled Volunteer starter Rob Catapano who twirled a gem himself, allowing just two runs and striking out three over a career-high 6.2 innings.
"It was a well pitched game, on our side too," UT Head Coach Todd Raleigh said. "(Hudson Randall) was obviously really good, and Rob (Catapano) just made one mistake. I thought he pitched outstanding and certainly gave us a chance to win. Every time we hit the ball hard it was just right at them. I thought the right plan against (Randall) was to swing early because he throws so many strikes. He did that tonight. We just couldn't find a hole. You just have to tip your hat to him. He did an unbelievable job."
The game basically came down to a single pitch as Austin Maddox hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the second for Florida while Randall held the Big Orange to just four hits all night. Randall faced 30 batters, throwing first-pitch strikes to 25 of them and just 15 pitches outside of the zone total.
Making the first Friday night start of his career and just his second SEC start, Catapano scattered eight hits over his 6.2 innings of solid work. He walked only one and struck out three while limiting the Gators to just the two runs on Maddox's blast.
Florida's only other run came against the UT bullpen as freshman Carter Watson unleashed a bases-loaded wild pitch in the eighth inning. He came back to get the next batter to fly out to center to end the threat, however.
Sophomore Nick Blount got the Vols out of a bases-loaded jam just an inning before, coming on for Catapano to get Daniel Pigott to fly out to right on a 3-2 pitch. Junior Jerod Peper and sophomore Hunter Daniel each recorded an out in the contest as well.
All four of UT's hits were singles, marking the third time in the last four games it has been held without an extra-base hit. Juniors Matt Duffy and Zach Osborne and sophomores Charley Thurber and Chris Fritts were able to reach base for the Vols, as was senior Josh Liles who got on thanks to an error.
A double-play ball and a runner caught stealing, however, allowed Randall to face just three over the minimum for the game. Thurber was the only Vol to get into scoring position, moving to second on a passed ball after his bunt single in the second.
The Vols will look to get back into the win column against the Gators at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Junior southpaw Steven Gruver will get the starting assignment for Tennessee, while Brian Johnson will take the ball for Florida. The game will be broadcast on CSS with Bernie Guenther and Brian Jordan on the call.
For the most up-to-date information on Tennessee baseball, visit www.UTSports.com/baseball and be sure to follow @Vol_Baseball on Twitter.