Kelly: Different vibe around Florida State's victory over Arkansas

FSU slugger JC Flowers stands in the on-deck circle in game two of the College World Series
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By: Ryan Kelly | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
June 16, 2019

Omaha, NE (WCTV) - Admit it Florida State fan.

You know what you were thinking last night.

You felt that all too familiar sense of dread sink in when Arkansas’ Christian Franklin hit a lead off double in the eighth inning. You muttered “this is so us” when a sacrifice grounder moved the slugger to third. You just knew that replay was going to find that JC Flowers hadn’t tagged the whole time at third to plate the go-ahead run. Your stomach sank as Mike Salvatore momentarily lost his grip on a routine ground ball to start the 9th inning.

Admit it. You were wrong.

No one blames you for feeling that way, you’ve been through a lot. Mike McGee’s blown save against TCU in 2010, Justin Gonzalez’s errors against Arizona in 2012, LSU’s come from behind victory in 2017, Mississippi State’s walk-off victory last season and that’s just this decade.

Florida State baseball is one of the most consistent programs in the history of collegiate athletics but for all its consistent excellence, postseason heartbreak has been just as steady.

But all that pain, all that anguish, all those bad thoughts and gut feelings have just kept dying these last few weeks haven’t they? The Tribe, who went into the postseason as one of the more offensively challenged teams ever at FSU would put on a hitting clinic against one of the best pitching staffs in the country at Georgia. These ‘Noles, never crumbled in Baton Rouge and swept the LSU Tigers in walk-off fashion at Alex Box Stadium.

And now there’s this. Drew Parrish, who’s had an ok postseason at best deals the game of his life against the Arkansas Razorbacks. A team with offense in droves, a 12-1 pitcher with a sub-2 ERA in the NCAA tournament and a defense that until the fourth inning of last night’s affair hadn’t committed an error in 51 straight frames of work.

Add all that in with the fact that FSU hadn’t won their first game in Omaha since the 1999 CWS and the matchup had “here we go again” written all over it.

But then as has happened all throughout the last three weeks, it was the ‘Noles who got the breaks.

A lineout double play to end the third inning with two on and one out, back-to-back strikeouts with the go ahead run on third, a ball dislodged on a sure double play tag in the ninth, these are all breaks that have turned so cruelly and painfully against the Seminoles over the years and yet last night they all broke FSU’s way… just like they’ve done all postseason.

Baseball is a strange, wonderful and sometimes painful game. It’s beloved for its unpredictability that creates moments etched in time. I don’t believe fate is calling the Tribe, I’m not making any bold predictions and quite frankly you shouldn’t either. As Head Coach Mike Martin is quick to point out, his team knows they haven’t accomplished anything yet.

But isn’t it time to admit this feels a little different?