Florida State’s slug-out victory with last year’s runner-up Arkansas came down to their tremendous pitching by Drew Parrish, who went 8 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 9 K over 113 total pitches. The Seminoles lone run came off a sacrifice-fly in the top of the ninth by Nander De Sedas, 2B, that allowed J.C. Flowers to score, who later went to close the game in a 1-2-3 inning.
Seminoles head coach Mike Martin has a few keys for the team as they play through the long week and a half of the Men’s College World Series: stay focused on the game and take it each game at a time. However, an additional energy was created for the Seminoles to feed off of when it cam to overpowering one of the top teams in the country.
Enter: the Animals of Section B. The Animals are a boisterous group of baseball fans dating back to 1977 with the main purpose to support Florida State Baseball in a “unique,” yet clean and classy manner, according to their official songbook.
The name “Animals” was given by Sol Carroll, the No. 1 Seminole fan, after he passed his traditional donuts around Seminole Field. After multiple games, fans had enough of the donuts, due to their stale taste, and threw them back at Carroll. This caused Carroll to call them animals.
The Animals are led by a zookeeper: Shannon Thomas. Sadly Thomas could not make the trip to Omaha. The ringleader of this circus for the team’s stint in Omaha is Johnny Mac. Mac says he has no title; he’s just an Animal of Section B.
“We’re just a collection of baseball fans that cheer for the Noles,” Mac said.
And cheer they did.
Although they were perched up in Section 202 in Game 2, their presence was felt throughout the sea of Razerback fans. Their chants could be heard by the parents of the Seminole players that they even joined in on a few such as their “K-Time” chant they do when an opposing batter is facing a 1-2 count.
Other chants include “Walk ‘em in Rag-Arm, Walk ‘em in, (clap clap) Get a hit.” You will hear this when the opposing pitcher has a 3-ball count. The Animals are also known for their love of Canada. When the Seminoles are up to back in the fifth Inning, The Animals will start to sing “O’ Canada,” a tradition since the 1988 Calgary Olympics. You will hear the anthem and see the Maple Leaf fly throughout their pen.
If you’re interested in being an Animal, Mac said they have a few rules.
“Yell, cheer, be a part of the group. Help the Noles win the game.”
If you have tickets to Monday night’s game when the Seminoles take on the Michigan Wolverines, be sure to look for The Animals of Section B for an extra layer of competitive spirit.