The Hog call. The chop.
Dave Van Horn. Mike Martin.
The last season for legendary Seminole head coach will end in Omaha, just like it has for 17 of his 40 seasons. As incredible of a coach Mike Martin is, he is 0-5 against the Razorbacks all-time, all in the postseason. Versus all other opponents, Coach Martin is 2,028-729-4 (.736).
The first matchup for Arkansas in Omaha will be a Florida State team that defeated Georgia twice to win the Athens regional. The following weekend they went on to defeat LSU twice in the Baton Rouge super regional. This is a baseball team that made the NCAA tournament by the skin of their teeth. They were a part of the “last four in”, along with Duke, TCU, and fellow Omaha member Michigan. Over the course of the year, FSU compiled a record of 41-21 with a 17-13 record in the ACC.
The Seminoles have been led by junior 3rd baseman Drew Mendoza. The highest rated high school prospect in 2016 has a batting average of .319, has hit 16 home runs, including 56 RBI’s, 60 runs, 69 walks and strikeouts, with two stolen bases and triples apiece. He was drafted in the third round by the Washington Nationals in the 2019 MLB Draft, the highest slot for a Seminole to be drafted this year.
Florida State will be rolling with Drew Parrish on the mound. Drew has had an up and down career in Tallahassee. In his freshman year he appeared in 19 games while finishing with a 4.52 ERA. Parrish had a breakout year during his sophomore campaign in 2018. An All-American according to multiple publications, he struck out 128 in 107 innings with a 2.52 ERA to go along with a 5-1 record. While looking to improve on those numbers this year, he has taken a step back. A 5.11 ERA has haunted him this year, however he has 116 strikeouts in 86 1/3 innings which could give the strikeout-happy Hogs a problem. He is also a lefty, which has also given the Hogs their fair share of issues. In his last outing against LSU he gave up four runs in 4 2/3 innings.
Arkansas will counter with Isaiah Campbell. The junior from Olathe, Kansas has been nearly unhittable in his last few starts. In game 1 of the super-regional he gave up two runs while pitching all the way into the 9th inning. In game 2 of the regional versus TCU he only allowed one runner to cross the plate while accumulating 24 outs. In the SEC tournament Isaiah pitched five shutout innings. Expect another dominant outing tomorrow against Florida State.
I struggle to see a way in which Florida State comes out with a win against a Razorback team that is clicking on all cylinders right now. After FSU, Arkansas would take on the winner of Texas Tech and Michigan. Let’s say Michigan continues their unlikely season and they knock off the Red Raiders. Arkansas would then take on the Wolverines. Easy win for the Hogs. I believe Texas Tech would come out of the loser’s bracket to take on the Hogs with the winner going to the finals. With Tech being fresher, I could see them taking one from Arkansas, but the Hogs would prevail in the double elimination tournament to advance to the CWS Finals for the second consecutive year with a victory on Saturday over TTU.
Saturday vs Florida State: WIN
Monday vs Michigan: WIN
Friday vs Texas Tech: LOSS
Saturday vs Texas Tech: WIN
I believe the Hogs would face the SEC tournament champions in Vanderbilt to crown the champions of all of college baseball.
Hopefully, the next time I write to you will be previewing the CWS Finals and not reminiscing over what has already been a tremendous, and overachieving season.
Y’all ready for some Omaha baseball?