OMAHA, Neb. – For the first time since 1999, Florida State (42-21) won its first game of the College World Series, defeating No. 5 national seed Arkansas (46-19) 1-0 in a pitcher’s duel.
Drew Parrish (9-5) and Isaiah Campbell went toe-to-toe on the rubber all night as both aces had their best stuff rolling at TD Ameritrade Park in front 26,155 fans.
Parrish struck out nine hitters in eight innings pitched, tying a season high for innings and working out of trouble multiple times in the game. Campbell struck out 10 batters in seven innings for the Razorbacks, but FSU scored the game-winning run in the top of the ninth inning against reliever Cody Scroggins (3-1).
J.C. Flowers started in centerfield for the Noles, snagging a highlight-reel catch against the wall in the second inning; he was hit by a pitch in the ninth inning and scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly; and pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth, his 13th save of the season.
In the top of the 2nd inning, Flowers and Mat Nelson both singled to give the Seminoles a pair of runners with just one out in the inning. However, Campbell struck out Nander De Sedas and Tim Becker to end the inning.
The Seminoles got runners on base in each of the first six innings, but each time Campbell shut the door on FSU. The second-round MLB draft pick exited after seven innings and 101 pitches.
Parrish wouldn’t be outdone as the lefty had perhaps the best outing of his career, given the stage. The lefty went eight innings of his own, giving up just five hits and no runs while striking out nine Razorbacks on the night.
“He was really tough, he had everything working on us,” Arkansas first basemen Trevor Ezell said on Parrish. “His off-speed was really good and you just have to tip your cap.”
In the bottom of the 8th inning, Christian Franklin doubled to right field and advanced to third base on a groundout. Parrish buckled down and got Casey Martin and Matt Goodheart to each strikeout with changeups to escape the jam.
“I’d say it’s one of the best performances of my life for sure,” Parrish said smiling after the game.
“Every kid dreams of pitching at the College World Series so this definitely ranks up there.”
In the top of the 9th inning, Flowers was hit by a pitch to start the frame and Carter Smith reached on a fielder’s choice after the ball was dislodged on a tag attempt from Martin to Flowers running to second base.
A sacrifice bunt from Nelson pushed both runners into scoring position, before De Sedas had one of the biggest plate appearances of his young Seminole career.
On the first pitch he saw from Arkansas’ flame-throwing closer, Matt Cronin, the freshman lifted the ball into right field. Flowers beat the throw home after the catch to give De Sedas a sac fly and score the only run of the game.
“This is a dream, you know. To play in Omaha at the College World Series,” De Sedas said after the game.
“As a kid you dream of having the game-winning RBI, this is just a crazy, cool experience. It’s emotional.”
Flowers entered to close the game as he recorded a groundout, a soft lineout and then struck out Jack Kenley to get his 13th save of the season and push the Noles into the winner’s bracket.
The win gives FSU a six-game winning streak in the NCAA Tournament, tying a school record. Five of those wins have come against SEC programs. The shutout is the Seminoles fifth all-time in the College World Series and first since 1987.
Florida State will play Michigan on Monday night at 7 PM ET and will be the home team against the Wolverines after winning a coin toss. CJ Van Eyk (10-3) will get the ball for the Seminoles on the mound.
For more information on Florida State baseball, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSUBaseball), Facebook (/FSUBaseball), and Instagram (@NoleBaseball).