Duel in Omaha: FSU captures Game 1

Two aces on the mound delivered a postseason-worthy nail-biter.

And the defense? Yes, some gems that kept zeroes up on the scoreboard.

Nander de Sedas had a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to score J.C. Flowers and give Florida State just enough offense to support a stellar start from Drew Parrish as the Seminoles defeated Arkansas 1-0 to win Game 1 of the College World Series on Saturday night.

Parrish matched his season high by throwing eight innings, scattering five hits and two walks while striking out nine. The junior-left-hander was on – and the Seminoles needed him to have his best outing in nearly two months so that they could advance in the winner’s bracket in pool play.

Flowers then pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the save.

“That was just a masterpiece of pitching by these two men,” FSU coach Mike Martin said of Parrish and Flowers. “It was a game in which you were on the edge of your seat the entire nine innings.”

FSU (42-21) will play Michigan on Monday at 7 p.m. (ESPN), a matchup of a pair of “last four in” teams in the NCAA Tournament. The Seminoles will send C.J. Van Eyk (10-3, 3.80 ERA) to the mound. Arkansas will play Texas Tech on Monday at 2 p.m. (ESPN) in an elimination game.

Parrish outdueled Arkansas right-hander Isaiah Campbell, who allowed five hits and had 10 strikeouts. FSU generated very little offense until Campbell was pulled after seven innings and the Seminoles were able to manufacture a run against reliever Cody Scroggins.

In typical FSU fashion, it was a run that was scored without the benefit of a hit.

Flowers led off the ninth when he was hit by a pitch. He then collided with shortstop Casey Martin, who ran toward the second-base line to field a grounder and the collision caused the ball to pop loose. Flowers and the batter, Carter Smith, were safe. Matheu Nelson then sacrificed the runners into scoring position, leading to De Sedas’ sac fly.

After scoring the go-ahead run, Flowers ran to the bullpen to warm up for the bottom of the ninth. He recorded his 13th save.

Parrish hadn’t looked like an ace for most of the last month, failing to go six innings in starts against FAU and LSU. But he turned in one of his best outings of the year in a pressure-packed setting at the CWS.

“Probably the best game of my career,” Parrish said. “It’s kind of hard to describe the emotions.”

The Seminoles generated five hits through eight innings, but all of them were singles. FSU also had two walks.

FSU received some great defensive plays in the game. Here are a few, starting with J.C. Flowers’ running grab at the wall in left-center field:

And a nice throw back to third to catch the runner, helping Parrish get out of an inning:

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