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June 15, 2019

Mike Martin

Matheu Nelson

J.C. Flowers

Drew Parrish

Omaha, Nebraska

Florida State - 1, Arkansas - 0

MIKE MARTIN: Y'all saw the same game that I did, and that was just a masterpiece of pitching by these two men. It was a game in which you're on the edge of your seat the entire nine innings. It was extremely well-played by both teams. Isaiah pitched beautiful baseball for them, also. It was a game that if you knew you could go to a baseball game every night, you would be big-time baseball fans because that's the way you hope that your team plays every night.

I know it's disappointing for the other team. They had a lot of things, so to speak, go our way, but I just can't say enough about Drew Parrish and J.C. Flowers. Let's get that clear. And the guy that's back there getting no credit whatsoever, he takes one off the arm, he takes one off the leg, nobody really cares, get the dadgum ball, throw it back to the pitcher, squat down and call the game. But this freshman Matt Nelson really is beginning to come of age. I'm very proud of the way he is improving, and I'm anxious to see him for -- I don't know, we know that we've got two for sure, so let's just look at it that way. I've got a chance to see him play two. We don't know what's going to happen. I can't sit here and say we're in the driver's seat. This field is strong. This field is really impressive. So this tournament is a long way from being in anybody's hands.

Q. J.C., can you take us through the swing of emotions from the play at second base to scoring the run and then closing that thing out?
J.C. FLOWERS: It was a lot of emotions going on. It was a close game all the way through, and Arkansas played really, really well. At the end of the day, one team is going to come out on top, and I was just glad to be able to score the first and only run and be able to close it out for my team.

Q. J.C., talk about the catch that you made there against the wall.
J.C. FLOWERS: I saw it off the bat, and I thought that -- I knew I could catch it if I had room, and obviously I had room, and was just able to jump up there and catch it. I hit a side on the wall. I was fine.

Q. Drew, you said coming into this matchup that you knew you were going to have to bring your A game against Isaiah Campbell. What was it like to be in that battle with him and just those moments where Arkansas got runners on and you were able to get out of it? What was going through your mind?
DREW PARRISH: Yeah, like I said, (indiscernible) keep my team in the game and allowed them to scratch a run or two at the end there. It was just a great game overall. Just a lights-out performance from both sides, and (indiscernible).

Q. J.C., were you stealing on that play where I guess you kind of ran into Martin and knocked the ball loose? And can you kind of describe that play?
J.C. FLOWERS: Yeah, it was a hit and run. I think the count was 3-1, and yeah, he just -- he came across the bag, made a nice play, and I guess his momentum and he tagged me on the stomach, and the ball just came out, glove came off. I hope he's doing okay.

Q. Drew, where does that rank? I know you've had a lot of great games in your career. Where does that rank? Seemed like whenever you needed a strikeout with guys on you were able to come up with it.
DREW PARRISH: Rank as in my career?

Q. Your best outing.
DREW PARRISH: Pitching in Omaha has got to be the top by far. Every kid dreams of playing at that field and being in a situation like it was tonight with great fan support from both sides and great competition. It's probably the best game of my career.

Q. Kind of a follow-up to that, it's a dream to pitch here anyway, but then when you have one of the best games of your life, what's that sensation like to come through with your best when you're playing the biggest game of your life?
DREW PARRISH: I mean, it's kind of hard to describe the emotions that were going through the game because I don't really know what happened out there, honestly, as part of the emotion standpoint. I was just locked in and trying to throw pitches and keep my team in the game. Probably in a few days from now it'll hit me, and I'll take a step back and try to take it in for a minute.

Q. Mat, from your perspective what did you see from Drew tonight and do you feel like that was the best you've seen him this year?
MATHEU NELSON: No, at the beginning of the year he was lights out just like that against Maine in the first couple of opening series. Throughout the middle of the series, I didn't catch him so much on Friday nights. Foster did a great job catching him and he still threw really well with Foster, and his changeup was just unhittable tonight. The ball was stopping in slow motion, it was stopping in mid-air. It was almost as if the ball was stopping and then the guys were already through their swing and the ball wasn't even there. I mean, his fastball, he was locating well, his curveball was on, he was burying pitches when he needed to. He just did one heck of a job, especially on that pick-off, too, when we picked that guy off early in the game. That was awesome.

Q. J.C., Florida State has not won their opening game in Omaha in quite a while. Were you aware of that, and do you think that puts you guys a little more in the driver's seat winning the first one?
J.C. FLOWERS: I was here my freshman year and we lost the opening game. I wasn't aware that we haven't won one in a while, but I don't think that puts us in the driver's seat. Michigan is a great team, and we're going to go out there and battle just like we did tonight and hopefully we get a good outcome.

Q. Drew, I think it was the sixth inning you got the last out, there was a chopper right back at you and you kind of batted it down with your bare hand. Was that just a reaction play, and did that sting any, or what did that feel like off your hand there?
DREW PARRISH: Yeah, it was definitely a reaction play. In my head, I'm like, all right, this is a base hit. I'm going to throw everything I can at it to stop it. As far as hurting, no, my adrenaline was going throughout the game, but I'm sure tomorrow it's going to be a little sore. I got yelled at for doing that. (Laughter).

Q. Drew, I guess you'd probably say it's been a little bit of an up-and-down year for you on the mound. What have you kind of been focusing on as we get to this last part of the season and what has been the key for you to go out and have a night like this?
DREW PARRISH: Honestly, everything that happened in the past is in the past and it doesn't matter anymore. We've just got to keep pushing and keep focusing on what's next and the next step was tonight and I couldn't think about the past and just had to go out there and play my best and help the team out.

Q. Coach, you guys hadn't won a road super regional ever. You do that, you guys hadn't been on the road much in regional and you win that, now you come here for the first time since 1999 and you win Game 1 in Omaha. From your perspective you've coached a long time, what's been different about this team and this run?
MIKE MARTIN: I really think it was that meeting that the men had when things were not going right. We knew that we were in jail, and the only way we were going to get out of it was to start playing better and hopefully get in the tournament, and I think we played very well against Clemson, three games, and we just knew that we had to continue to strive to get better and not fall in love with ourselves. We haven't done that. We know we're not falling in love with ourselves right now because nothing is settled. Nothing is declared. We just know we've got to keep battling.

Q. I know you've won over 2,000, but you were 0 for 5 against Arkansas so I think they've beaten you more than anybody you haven't beaten. I think the worst record was 0-2 against a couple of teams. Were you aware of that, and how big of a deal was it to finally beat them here in Omaha?
MIKE MARTIN: I knew that the University of Arkansas had handled us right easy. I was not aware that it was 5-0. Thank God I didn't. (Laughter).

Q. Coach, can you put Drew's performance into perspective to do what he did against that kind of an offensive team and this kind of a setting, especially with the season that he's had and the career that he's had and the whole thing? Kind of put that in perspective.
MIKE MARTIN: Mike Martin Jr., and Clyde Keller did a great job of calling the game. I felt that they were just excellent. There's no way that I can say that I haven't seen Drew pitch this well. I've seen him pitch as well before. He's just that kind of battler, that kind of competitor. He's a coach's dream when it comes to -- you know who your Friday night guy is. A great team player. The only thing I've seen him do wrong is stick his dadgum left hand out twice to catch a dadgum one-hop ground ball. That's the one thing I get a little attitude with him about. But Drew Parrish is a great Seminole. He's a good student. He's a guy that has done so much for our program. He's a great leader, one of our captains. This program will certainly miss possibly having him back with us next year.

Q. Coach, C.J. is going to start for you Monday I assume, and how much has he improved this year? Talk about his overall game this year.
MIKE MARTIN: Sometimes last year he would throw the ball 95, 96, but it would be an absolute no decision. It would be ball 1 and all of a sudden he'll get an attitude and throw the next one a little harder and it's ball 2. He learned how to pitch. He's not a guy that is trying to throw it 100. He's trying to hit his spots. He's throwing at 96, but he's not over-throwing like he did last year. His breaking ball has gotten much more consistent, and I've noticed that Mike is starting to call more changeups with him because that really gives him three very good pitches.

Q. Over these last seven games, what's pleased you the most on this win streak that maybe you didn't see earlier in the season?
MIKE MARTIN: Probably the togetherness, the heart that our team has shown. You learn a lot about people when things don't go their way, and there were some things that so-called didn't go our way. But they fought. They're still fighting. They know they haven't decided anything. There's a lot of baseball left. That's encouraging as a coach to know that you have a team like that.

Q. To get to the ninth, you had to survive that double in the eighth. You went out and you talked to Drew. Did you consider going to the bullpen, and what did you tell him at that point when you had a guy on third and one out?
MIKE MARTIN: No, sir, I did not consider going to the bullpen at that point. We talked about what we were going to do. Was that the first and third or just the man on third?

Q. Just the man on third.
MIKE MARTIN: We went over with our infielders to be sure that we don't -- I call it cheating, where guys cheat up instead of being sure that they're, the way we teach it, they're one step from the grass, not on the grass, and just tried to be sure to tell Mat that you're going to block everything because we trust you and we're going to throw a curveball in the dirt occasionally, so get it done. We're very pleased with that young man.

Q. With the two years that Drew has had getting thrust into that Friday night role after Tyler Holton goes down on opening day to what happened in that regional to the up and downs that he's had this year, for him to have this big a moment on this big a stage, how does that make you feel for the ace?
MIKE MARTIN: It makes you feel that he's passing on what he learned to the young men in our program. We've got a lot of young freshman pitchers, and his attitude, his approach to the game, his work ethic, he's passing that on. And that's so important in college life. You pass along good things, the others will turn out good. That's what I get out of it, because Drew learned from Holton. I won't stop talking about Holton if I get started. But that's in the past. Very proud of this ballclub because they understand that they haven't done anything. There's still so much baseball left to be played.

Q. That play in the ninth where Flowers, I guess he said he was going to a hit and run and there was a lot of contact there in the baseline. What was your take on that play?
MIKE MARTIN: It was a play in which you saw a baseball player play the game the way it should be played. He had only one way to get to the bag, and he went in to the straightest line he possibly could, and unfortunately the young man's glove was right there, and hopefully he's fine. Did he stay in the game?

Q. He stayed in the game.
MIKE MARTIN: Thank God he's okay. Good.

Q. You've been on both sides of this, as they've already talked about. A lot of discussion about the differences, but I'd like to know what in your mind is the major difference in the way you can approach things going forward after taking the first game.
MIKE MARTIN: Well, I probably hold a record for losing the first two the most. But anyway, I'm just, again, ecstatic with the way the guys played. They're not thinking anything about the fact that we haven't done a certain thing. They did find out when we were in the outfield that that was the first game that we had won on the first night in many moons. But I just think that this club has a good head on their shoulders. They're not one to go out and think they've got it made. They know they've got a lot of work to do.

Did I answer your question?

Q. I guess I'd like to know a little more, how does it allow you to approach things moving forward, winning the first game versus not? What in your mind are the major advantages of going ahead and grabbing that first game?
MIKE MARTIN: Well, I'm sure that the confidence factor comes into play, but there's still nothing going to change at practice. We will practice tomorrow before we play on Monday, and there's some things that we can cover that we did not do well. But they understand, it's the little things that are so important.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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