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Baseball2010 NCAA Men's College World Series

Bethune-Cookman Post-Game Quotes

NCAA Gainesville Regional
Friday, June 4, 2010
Alfred A. McKethan Stadium
Game 2 – Florida 7, Bethune-Cookman 3


Freshman right-hander Hudson Randall (Atlanta, Ga.) notched a career-high 10 strikeouts over 7.1 innings as top-seeded Florida (43-15) defeated fourth-seeded Bethune-Cookman (35-21), 7-3, on Friday night at McKethan Stadium. In his NCAA Regional debut, the rookie (8-3) did not allow a hit until the fifth inning in picking up his sixth-straight victory. 


The fourth-ranked Gators will meet third-seeded Oregon State (32-22) in a winner’s bracket game at 7 p.m. tomorrow live on Sun Sports, while the Wildcats face second-seeded Florida Atlantic (35-23) in an elimination game at 1 p.m. The Beavers edged the Owls, 6-4, earlier this afternoon.


“Hudson Randall was outstanding on the mound,” third-year head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “We knew Bethune-Cookman would be a tough opponent. We jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but like we expected, they battled and gave it everything they had. It was hard to pull away from them. Bethune is always tough and they proved it again tonight.”


The Gators seized a 4-0 advantage with five hits in the second inning against sophomore Ali Simpson (6-2). Freshman Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) (2-for-5, two runs) led off with a single into center field and went to second on a one-out bunt single by sophomore Daniel Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) (1-for-3, run). Junior Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.) drew a walk to load the bases and freshman Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) followed with a single into left field to open the scoring. Simpson uncorked a wild pitch that enabled Pigott to score and then fanned freshman Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) for the second out. Freshman Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) (2-for-4), who had led off the first stanza with a base-hit, delivered a two-run single into center field to bring across Adams and Zunino. Junior Bryson Smith (Watkinsville, Ga.) (2-for-4, run) sliced a two-out single into left field, but Fontana was cut down at the plate on a bullet from junior DJ Leonard to end the frame. 


In the fourth, Dent earned a free pass with two down and moved into scoring position with his first career stolen base. After Fontana drew a walk, Simpson (3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 BB) was replaced by junior Joey Munoz. The Gators executed a double steal, with Dent taking third and Fontana moving to second, and Smith walked to fill the sacks. However, Munoz worked out of the jam with a strikeout.


The Wildcats used a two-out RBI single by sophomore Alejandro Sanchez (2-for-4) to narrow the gap to 4-1 in the fifth. Leonard had come through with Bethune-Cookman’s first hit with a one-out double just out of the reach of senior center fielder Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.). Although Randall had junior Emmanuel Castro fly out, Sanchez lined a single into left field that eluded a diving Pigott to score Leonard. 


Helped by a fielding error from Munoz, UF tacked on three unearned runs in the sixth to build a 7-1 advantage. Munoz notched the first two outs before Smith and sophomore Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) (2-for-4, run) had back-to-back singles. Maddox hit a ground ball to first base that junior Ryan Durrence fielded, but Munoz mishandled the relay, allowing Smith to score. den Dekker (2-for-4) then launched a two-run triple to the base of the wall in left center to clear the bases and provide the Gators with a six-run margin. Over two innings, Munoz gave up five hits and three unearned runs, with four strikeouts. 


Leonard drove in sophomore Peter O’Brien with an RBI single in the seventh to reduce the Wildcats’ deficit to 7-2. O’Brien had registered his 14th double with one down and came home on Leonard’s second hit of the night. A two-out single by Sanchez left runners on the corners but Randall induced an inning-ending pop up by junior Matt Wright to close the inning.


Freshman Brandon Turner opened the eighth with a double and Randall punched out junior Juan Perez to become the first Gator pitcher with 10 K in an outing since Bryan Augenstein had 10 against Alabama on May 5, 2007. Senior Jeff Barfield (Perry, Ga.) whiffed senior Jeremy Davis for the second out but then yielded an RBI single to Durrence to bring B-CU within 7-3. Barfield worked the final 1.2 innings for the Gators, which held a 12-7 edge in hits.


Bethune-Cookman Post-Game Quotes
Head Coach Mervyl Melendez

Opening Statement
“I honestly thought we were going to swing the bats a little bit better tonight. We have to give credit to (Hudson) Randall. He pitched a heck of game. He went early with the breaking ball, and he got us to swing. They had a good game plan. They threw the breaking ball early and then the fast balls in the middle of the game. We didn’t get it done when it counted. We have to do whatever it takes to get it done tomorrow. We want to be here Sunday and Monday.”


On Hudson Randall and how he kept Bethune-Cookman off balance

“He was throwing a lot of breaking balls early on and we chased. We’re a very aggressive ball club, and if you’ve seen us at all this season, you know we swing the bats, but on the other hand, we do make adjustments. We knew they were going to throw a lot of fast balls in the middle of game and that’s when we started swinging a little better. That was there game plan tonight and it worked.”


On the rain delay and late start

“We have to play baseball and we condition ourselves for this from the very beginning of the season preparing for NCAAs. It is what it is. We knew it was going to be tough, and we knew there was a chance we’d be playing late tonight and early again tomorrow. There are no excuses.”


#14 D.J. Leonard
On the slow start for Bethune-Cookman

“I was very surprised (with the slow start). We’re a very aggressive ball club and have had great at-bats early this season. That was our downfall tonight. We didn’t go out and swing the bats right away.”


Florida Post-Game Quotes
Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan

Opening Statement

“Hudson Randall was outstanding on the mound. We knew Bethune-Cookman would be a tough opponent. We jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but like we expected, they battled and gave it everything they had. It was hard to pull away from them. Bethune is always tough and they proved it again tonight. But again, Hudson was outstanding on the mound tonight.”


On Randall’s performances all year and if Bethune-Cookman was his best

“He’s been really good every time he’s taken the mound. You’re talking about a guy who led SEC in ERA in 30 conference games. He’s done it at home and on the road. He’s been good every outing. I don’t know if it’s his best, but it was good. There was no hesitation from him tonight. He’s been really, really good. It’s a tough, tough accomplishment.”


On playing Oregon State Saturday

“I don’t know a lot about them. I do know they have quality pitching, the Pac 10 is and outstanding league. The guy they’re throwing tomorrow is outstanding, he’s been there most consistent and he’s hot right now. It’s going to be a great game. The team that makes the least mistakes and walks the least will probably come out on top.”


On how the rest of the team was feeling tonight

“Our dugout was a little different tonight. It didn’t have the bounce that it normally does. I don’t know if it was from the rain delay or what. It’s a little different in tournament time. It was a really good learning experience for our younger guys. You can instruct them on almost anything, but you can’t teach the NCAA tournament experience. There was a little tension, so hopefully tonight we got that out of us. We’ve been really resilient all year. Whether we’ve won or loss, we’ve kept an even keel. I’d expect us to come out tomorrow ready to play.”


#17 Matt den Dekker

On winning tonight, but preparing for Oregon State Saturday

“I’ve talked to the guys; we know we have to get ready for tomorrow. We played a great game tonight, but we have to put that behind us and get ready for Oregon State. Tonight, there was a little bit different of a feeling. There are always nerves and butterflies, but like the coaches say, that means you’re prepared. We had four runs early, but we knew we had to tack on more. We had a big inning and that helped us out. It all goes back to Hudson (Randall), who pitched great. We have to be grateful for Hudson’s performance tonight. Hopefully we’ll come out tomorrow ready to play.”


#11 Hudson Randall

On where this game ranks for him in his career so far at UF

“Since it’s the first round of Regionals, I’d say it’s my favorite outing so far. There was a stage this night was set on and I had to rise to the occasion. I loved it out there. I felt like I was in a groove. I felt all my pitches for strikes tonight. My arm felt great and I had a zip on my fast balls.”


On what’s led up to his solid performances

“Our strength coach and our pitching rotations have kept my arm fresh. I feel great still. We knew they were aggressive, so if I located my fast ball, we knew we could get some ground outs and pop-ups early on to save my arm a little bit.”


Florida Notes
•   The Gators improved to 68-53 (.562) all-time in the NCAA Tournament and 58-38 (.604) in NCAA Regional play.
•   Florida won its 43rd game of the season, surpassing last year’s 42-22 total.
•   The Gators bettered their record to 24-0 all-time vs. Bethune-Cookman, including 5-0 in the NCAA Tournament.
•   Florida improved to 26-9 (.743) at McKethan Stadium during NCAA play and has won seven-straight home games during NCAA Regional play.
•   The Orange and Blue won their 11th-straight game at home and improved to 18-1 (.947) at home in night games this season.
•   Florida improved to 32-4 (.889) when scoring first.
•   The Gators are hitting .386 (27-for-70) with the bases loaded with 80 RBI and three grand slams.
•   In his last 10 starts, Hudson Randall has a 2.03 ERA.
•   Of Matt den Dekker’s 46 RBI’s this season, 24 have come with two outs. With two stolen bases, den Dekker also moved into a tie with Jim Watkins (1978-79) for fifth in school history with his 65th career stolen base.
•   The Gators improved to 37-0 when leading after six innings.
•   Preston Tucker is batting .400 (16-for-40) in his last 11 games with nine runs, seven RBI and five extra-base hits (three doubles, one triple and a homer). In six career NCAA Tournament games, Tucker is hitting .625 (15-for-24) with eight RBI, eight runs and three home runs.

Bethune-Cookman Notes
•   Bethune-Cookman fell to 1-19 all-time in NCAA Tournament play.
•   In his last three NCAA Tournament games (all in Gainesville), Ryan Durrence is hitting .417 (5-for-12) with five RBI, two runs, a double and a homer.
•   DJ Leonard extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games, going 2-for-4 with an RBI, run and a double.




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