With a damp towel around his neck, Florida ace Hudson Randall headed toward the locker room, instead of back out on the playing field, as the second inning of the Gators’ elimination game began.
It was 95 degrees at first pitch (felt hotter, even with a light breeze), and the game will go down in the NCAA books as the warmest since July 11, 2001.
The Gator players did take batting practice in shorts before the game, but one would think Florida would be used to weather like this, right?
Well, apparently not Randall. The junior right-hander labored through the first inning (he threw 16 strenuous pitches). Coach Kevin O’Sullivan made a lengthy mound visit toward the end of the frame, at one point calling for the trainer, and soon after getting a teammate to bring Randall some fluids.
It’s now up to sophomore Jonathon Crawford, who couldn’t keep Kent State from building on a 1-0 lead in the second inning. The Golden Flashes are up 4-0 as we head to the third.