Friday, 23 August, 2019

Florida State’s Mike Martin: Antonio Velez was ‘beautiful’ in Baton Rouge

Arkansas baseball Enlarge Image Arkansas baseball AP
Shannon Reynolds | 17 June, 2019, 14:16

FSU advanced to Omaha with surprising victories at Georgia in the regional round and at LSU in the super regionals.

At least that was the plan of his coach, who had long since become enamored with the fortitude of the Brandon High alumnus and former Saladino Award victor. The Razorbacks have now played 22 1/3 straight scoreless innings in Omaha dating back to last season.

Thanks in part to Velez, a third contest was avoided.

The Seminoles (1-0) move to the winners bracket of the College World Series in a double elimination tournament format.

Inserted in a high-leverage situation (runner on second, one out, FSU leading by one) in the top of the eighth inning, Velez surrendered consecutive singles to tie the score at 4-all.

Arkansas (46-19) managed only five hits in the game, two from freshman Christian Franklin, who went 2-for-3 with a double.

"He knew what he needed to do to be successful. I'm just happy we were able to get back".

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Now, Velez arrives in Omaha as the "Noles" hottest reliever.

Not to mention the unwavering faith of his skipper.

The CWS opener Saturday afternoon pits MI (46-20) against No. 8 Texas Tech (44-18).

"And if Conor ran into any difficulty at all, we wanted to have Velez ready".

"It's fun when you're battling, putting up zeroes", Campbell said.

Come Saturday night, the FSU baseball team will take the field for the 24th time in their history in the annual battle of the last teams standing known as the College World Series - and for the 17th and final time, they will be led on the field by their long time head coach Mike Martin as they hope to get him his first title in his final chance.

Arkansas will meet Texas Tech in an elimination game on Monday at 1:00 while Florida State gets MI in a winner's bracket game at 6:00 later that evening.

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