As improbable as a successful run through the loser’s bracket would seem to be, Florida might be the only team in this College World Series built for such a feat.
First thing’s first, the No. 1 overall seed Gators face off against Kent State Monday. The elimination game starts at 4 p.m.
If Florida survives, it would have to beat the loser of Monday’s Arkansas-South Carolina match-up before sweeping two in a row from the winner of that game. Won’t be easy. The Gators are confident, though.
“We have a lot of pitching left,” freshman Josh Tobias said after Saturday’s loss to South Carolina. “A quality of a championship team is when you bounce back from failure. We’re a championship team.”
The Gators will get their shot to prove themselves now. And yes, it’ll be about their pitching staff. Junior ace Hudson Randall (9-2, 2.61) will start against Kent State Monday. Relievers Greg Larson (16 pitches against SC Saturday) and Steven Rodriguez (18 pitches) should be ready in a day, if not earlier.
Here are three other guys who’re completely fresh on the bench…
>> Sophomore right-hander Karsten Whitson, the No. 9 overall pick in 2010 MLB draft, started two CWS games last year.
>> Junior right-hander Austin Maddox, drafted in the third round this year, has pitched 54 innings in relief, recording a team-high 12 saves.
>> Sophomore right-hander Jonathon Crawford threw a no-hitter in the first game of this year’s NCAA tournament against Bethune-Cookman.