Florida State coach Mike Martin said he will likely start junior left-hander Drew Parrish in the College World Series opener against Arkansas on Saturday.
Parrish (8-5, 5.11 ERA) has been FSU’s ace throughout the 2019 season and started the first game for the Seminoles in the ACC Tournament, regional and Super Regional. He hasn’t gone too deep in his last few outings but has put the Seminoles in position to win when he has started against Florida Atlantic in Athens, Ga., as well as at LSU in the Super Regional.
“I think we can all rest assured that it will be like we have tried to do with Parrish going on Saturday and then C.J. (Van Eyk) would come back on Monday,” Martin said on Tuesday.
Van Eyk has not lost since a start at Miami on April 6. He is 7-0 in his last nine starts, including a win at Georgia.
FSU will open the CWS against Arkansas on Saturday at 7 p.m. (ESPN). The next game will be on Monday vs. either Michigan or Texas Tech.
The next ace FSU will face: The Seminoles have managed to chase some of the top pitchers in the SEC the last two weekends, whether it was against Georgia’s Emerson Hancock (4 innings) or Cole Maxwell (3.2 innings) or LSU’s starter on Sunday, Landon Marceaux (3.2 innings).
Next up is another formidable SEC star in Arkansas right-hander Isaiah Campbell, who is 12-1 with a 2.26 ERA in 2019. A second-round pick by the Seattle Mariners, Campbell has 115 strikeouts and has allowed just 20 walks in 111.1 innings.
“He’s a very, very good major league prospect,” Martin said. “He’s not just a so-called prospect. He’s 6-5, he has four pitches. He’s 12-1 in the league and obviously the SEC is a very strong league. It’s going to be a real challenge for us. Just going to have to go up and have quality at-bats and do the little things it takes to be successful.”
Campbell has gone eight or more innings in his regional and Super Regional starts. He was named a second-team All-American by Baseball America.
Martin honored: Martin was named the Perfect Game/Rawlings coach of the year on Tuesday.
“The steadiness of what Mike Martin has done at Florida State is something for every college baseball fan to admire,” the Perfect Game staff wrote.
Underdog sticks with FSU: Third baseman Drew Mendoza was among a group of players who have embraced an “us against the world” mentality. The Seminoles were easy to doubt and criticize throughout 2019 but have also delivered with their best baseball the last two weeks en route to a spot in the CWS.
“I think that’s been our mentality the whole way,” Mendoza said. “We’ve been doubted for most of the season and it’s really fired us up and I think that mentality isn’t going to change no matter what the media says, no matter what people in Omaha would say. We’re going to keep the underdog mentality and keep it loose the whole way.”
Injury update: Martin said that left fielder Tim Becker, who left late in Sunday’s game with a right hand injury, is good to play in the CWS. The coach described Becker’s injury as a “little burn” and said he was fine.