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Texas faces elimination after loss to Florida

Texas hasn't done anything the easy way so far in the NCAA baseball tournament, and it will be no different in the College World Series.

The Longhorns face elimination after losing 8-4 to Florida in their first game at the new TD Ameritrade Park on Saturday night.

Hudson Randall and two other Florida pitchers limited the Longhorns to five hits, and Brian Johnson broke open the game with a two-out, two-run double in the seventh inning.

Now the Longhorns, in the CWS for a record 34th time, must beat North Carolina in a win-or-go-home game Monday afternoon.

"We've been pretty good in elimination games," Texas coach Augie Garrido said, "and here we are again."

Texas (49-18) won three straight after losing their second game in regionals, and they beat Arizona State twice after dropping the first game of their super regional.

"We all know we played a below-average game, and they capitalized on it," Garrido said. "But it doesn't mean we have to lose our spirit or our confidence in each other and it doesn't have to mean we give up. We've been here before. We know we can win. This championship's been won out of the losers' bracket before. So we know it can be done."

Taylor Jungmann (13-3), the Milwaukee Brewers' first-round draft pick, had another rough postseason outing for the Longhorns. He went 4 1-3 innings for his shortest start of the season, and four of the five runs against him were earned.

Jungmann, who started the season 13-0, had come into the CWS off losses in his previous two starts. He allowed two doubles and a single, walked four, hit a batter and threw two wild pitches.

"I felt for the first three innings I had decent command, but after that I fell out of rhythm," Jungmann said. "I walked more guys than I usually do. They took advantage of it, and that was about it."

Florida's Johnson came up with his big hit, off Nathan Thornhill, in his first game back since suffering a freak concussion.

"Sully talked to me before the at-bat," Johnson said, referring to coach Kevin O'Sullivan. "He said it's going to be a big at-bat for the game. So I just went up there really looking for one pitch I could drive. And I ended up getting that pitch.

"I was really excited to get back out there after three weeks not being able to play."

Johnson, the Gators' designated hitter and No. 2 starter, was knocked out by a throw from catcher Mike Zunino while pitching in the Southeastern Conference tournament May 28. Zunino, Johnson's roommate, tripped trying to throw out a runner at second base and hit Johnson in the back of the head.

It turned out Johnson's big hit in the seventh inning should have been ruled a home run. Replays showed that the ball bounced back into play after striking the railing above the yellow line atop the right-center wall. NCAA umpire coordinator Gene McArtor said in a statement after the game that the umpires' decision to hold Johnson at second base was wrong. Umpires aren't allowed to use video review.

The No. 2 national-seeded Gators (51-17), who play Vanderbilt on Monday night, are off to a winning start in the CWS after going two games and out last year.

"We came here last year and we were very disappointed to go two and done," Daniel Pigott said. "So to start out this way — having a great game, good pitching, solid hitting — I think it was very, very big for us. Definitely going to give us a lot of confidence going through the rest of the tournament."

Randall (11-3) followed up a terrific eight-inning outing in the super regionals against Mississippi State with another 6 2-3 strong innings against the Longhorns.

Randall scattered five hits, walked none and struck out five. Only one of the four runs against him was earned.

Randall, Greg Larson and Maronde limited Texas to five hits, with Maronde earning his third save with two innings of no-hit relief.

Randall retired 13 straight starting in the third inning. Jacob Felts broke through with a two-out single in the seventh, and Jordan Etier followed with a run-scoring double to cut Florida's lead to 5-4 and bring on Larson.

The 6-foot-8, 225-pound right-hander caught Tant Shepherd looking at strike three to end the threat.

The game drew an overflow crowd of 25,521 at the new TD Ameritrade Park, which replaced Rosenblatt Stadium as the CWS host.