A couple of No. 4 regional seeds from lightly regarded leagues upset opponents from the mighty Atlantic Coast Conference, shaking up what had been a mostly ho-hum first day of the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
Samford of the Southern Conference held on to beat No. 7 national seed Florida State 7-6 on Friday night in the Seminoles' home stadium in Tallahassee. Army of the Patriot League upset No. 16 national seed North Carolina State 5-1 on the Wolfpack's field in Raleigh.
Florida State, which made it to the College World Series last year, lost to a 4-seed for the second straight time. Last year, Tennessee Tech beat the Seminoles, who then won four straight to advance.
Samford led 6-1 before FSU pulled within a run in the bottom of the fifth, and the Seminoles had a runner on first in the bottom of the ninth when Cal Raleigh, their All-ACC catcher and conference tournament MVP, grounded out to end it.
Army led 5-0 when NC State loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh against a tiring Tyler Giovinco. The Wolfpack pushed across one run after Sam Messina relieved, and they had runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the ninth against Cam Opp. Opp got a strikeout and groundout to finish the game.
Samford plays Oklahoma on Saturday, and Army faces Auburn and the possible No. 1 overall draft pick in pitcher Casey Mize.
Defending national champion Florida shook off Columbia for a 13-5 win in its opener Friday.
Florida, the No. 1 national seed, had entered the tournament off losses in six of seven games, and Columbia led 3-2 after three innings. Jonathan India, the Southeastern Conference player of the year, doubled in two runs in a six-run fourth and the Gators went on to win in Gainesville, Florida.
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Twelve teams scored 10 or more runs in regional openers. The wildest game was in Tallahassee, where No. 3 regional seed Oklahoma overcame deficits of 5-0 and 10-7 in a 20-10 victory over No. 2 Mississippi State. The teams combined for 34 hits in a 4-hour, 42-minute game that the Sooners broke open with a nine-run seventh inning.
Mississippi State hadn't given up so many runs since a 20-9 loss to Arkansas in March 2009.