Arnold to pitch for NCAA D2 Flagler College in Florida
He wanted to be near family, but get out of Alaska.
He wanted to play for a competitive program.
And he wanted to pitch in warm weather.
Arnold, 18, got all three wishes at Flagler College, an NCAA D2 school in St. Augustine, Florida.
“It seemed like the perfect fit,” he told me.
The Kodiak pitching ace was one of the top arms in Alaska high school baseball this season. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound right hander threw a no-hitter against Houston and went all 7 innings in four of six starts.
His only loss of the season came at the state tournament against eventual champion Chugiak.
Arnold, of Kodiak High fame, carved up batters with a 0.92 ERA in 30.2 innings. His 41-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio is lights out.
He was named first team all-conference and second team all-state this year as a senior.
“It’ll be awesome to face some really good hitters at a higher level,” Arnold said. “I think the competition will make me a lot better.”
Arnold found out about Flagler through his older brother and he sent the coach a video with some of his highlights. He sent out probably 15 to 20 videos, he said, and received interest from a handful of schools. A couple even offered him a spot.
“Being in Kodiak, it’s really hard to get out and show people so it’s all do-it-yourself basically,” he said. “If you want play it’s on you to do all the work.”
Flagler invited him to an open tryout, where Arnold did enough to earn a roster spot and partial scholarship.
“I had a ton of adrenaline and it made me throw harder than I’ve ever thrown,” he said. “Being nervous honestly helped a lot.”
He normally throws his fastball in the 83 mph range. In Florida he hit 87 on the radar gun a couple times.
“They liked my size and velocity but said I need to work on secondary pitches,” Arnold said. “As I get there they are going to see if I am ready as a freshman or if I need to redshirt my first year.”