The 2018 NCAA baseball tournament kicked off Friday with a full slate of games.
The opening round features a double-elimination knockout process to determine who will play in the best-of-three Super Regionals round. Eight teams will then battle through a double-elimination bracket before the last two remaining teams move onto a best-of-three College World Series final.
Friday's Schedule — Regionals
Oklahoma 20, Mississippi State 10
Washington 7, UConn 1
Florida 13, Columbia 5
Vanderbilt 2, St. John's 0
North Carolina 11, North Carolina A&T 0
Oklahoma Sate 9, South Florida 2
Texas Tech 9, New Mexico State 2
Auburn 13, Northeastern 4
UCLA 6, Gonzaga 5
South Carolina 8, Ohio State 3
Arkansas 10, Oral Roberts 2
LSU 6, San Diego State 4
Texas A&M 10, Indiana 3
CSU Fullerton 6, Baylor 2
Army 5, NC State 1
Louisville 13, Kent State 6
Jacksonville 5, Florida Atlantic 3
Coastal Carolina 16, LIU Brooklyn 1
Houston 9, Purdue 1
Troy 6, Duke 0
Clemson 4, Morehead State 3 (10 innings)
Stetson 8, Hartford 3
Samford 7, Florida State 6
East Carolina 16, UNC-Wilmington 7
Southern Miss 9, Dallas Baptist 0
Minnesota 10, Canisius 1
Stanford 4, Wright State 3 (13 innings)
Texas 10, Texas Southern 0
Oregon State 9, Northwestern State 3
Campbell vs. Georgia (Postponed until Saturday at 12 p.m. ET)
Missouri State vs. Tennessee Tech (Postponed until Saturday at 1 p.m. ET)
Saint Louis vs. Ole Miss (Postponed until Saturday at 7 p.m. ET)
Full 2018 College World Series bracket can be viewed at NCAA.com
Florida 13, Columbia 5
The defending champs started their title defense with a solid showing in their opening against Columbia.
Florida got off to a fast start thanks to a walk by Nelson Maldonado and a two-out double by Wil Dalton in the first. While the team held an early lead, it would soon find itself having to battle back.
Columbia got to Gators starter Tommy Mace, touching him up for a pair in the second and a leadoff home run by Randell Kanemaru in the third. After two more hits, Mace's day was done, allowing three runs on six hits in two innings.
However, once left-hander Jordan Butler entered the game, it was smooth sailing for Florida. The Gators southpaw stranded both of his inherited runners on his way to starting his appearance with four hitless innings. He wound up allowing just one run on two hits in five innings of work while striking out five.
With Butler dominating, the Florida offense quickly came to life and took control of the game. It cut the deficit to just one in the bottom of the third behind two hits and a walk. That set the stage for the fourth.
Ten Gators came to the plate in the bottom of the fourth: six hits, one walk, one hit-by-pitch and six runs. By the end of the inning, the Lions saw their 3-2 lead turn into an 8-3 hole—and with the way Butler was pitching, that would prove to be too much.
Florida would add on five insurance runs over their final two at-bats, with the help of Jonah Girand's first home run as a Gator.
It was an all-around team effort for Florida. Butler's great relief work helped keep Columbia off the scoreboard, and Dalton's big day at the plate (4-for-5, two doubles, one home run and six RBI) helped pace the offense.
Overall, the Gators put up 13 runs on 13 hits, nine walks and a hit-by-pitch against seven Lions pitchers.
Florida will play either Jacksonville on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Oklahoma 20, Mississippi State 10
The wildest game of the day came from the Tallahassee regional, where the Oklahoma Sooners and the Mississippi State Bulldogs combined to put up 30 runs.
For Oklahoma, the theme of the day was scoring early and often.
The Sooners jumped out to a 5-0 lead through the first inning and a half, thanks to a four-run first. But it wasn't a big blast that got the job done—it was get 'em on, get 'em over, get 'em in. A walk, a single, a double and an error helped them move in front early on.
However, the Bulldogs battled back with a scoring barrage of their own.
After being held scoreless in their opening frame, they would record three consecutive multi-run innings, piling up nine runs in the process. In less than half a game, Mississippi State went from a 5-0 hole to a 9-7 lead.
But there would be plenty more offense—at least for one team.
Oklahoma hit a bit of a funk in the middle of the game, being held scoreless in both the fifth and sixth innings as their deficit grew to three runs. But in the seventh inning, the bats woke up.
With the help of seven hits, four walks, one hit by pitch and two errors, the Sooners grabbed control of the game with a nine-run inning to take a 16-10 lead. And like the first inning, it was all about keeping the line moving.
After starter Jake Irvin was roughed up for eight runs in 3.1 innings, the bullpen found a way to slow down the Bulldogs offense. Right-hander Kyle Tyler served up a dinger to the first batter he faced, but after that, Oklahoma relievers allowed just one run over the final 5.2 innings.
This offensive explosion created for a wild box score. It took until the fifth inning for both teams to be held scoreless, with just two such frames occurring all game. There were seven frames in which a team scored more than one run and four innings with at least four runs.
Incredibly, four pitchers (Oklahoma's Connor Berry, Braidyn Fink, and Lane Ramsey, Mississippi State's Riley Self) made it out of the contest without seeing their earned run averages rise.
Cade Harris (2-for-4, two walks, one double, three RBI, three runs scored), Brandon Zaragoza (4-for-7, one double, four RBI, three runs scored) and Kyle Mendenhall (3-for-5, one walk, two doubles, three RBI, three runs scored) starred at the plate for the Sooners. Elijah MacNamee (3-for-5, one double, one home run, three RBI, two runs scored) and Dustin Skelton (2-for-4, one home run, four RBI, one run scored) led the way for the Bulldogs.
Oklahoma will play the winner of Florida State-Samford on Saturday while Mississippi State will look to stave off elimination against the loser of that matchup.