Friday January 18th, 2019 9:18PM

Army upsets NC State; defending champ Gators post easy win

By The Associated Press
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Army shook up what had been a mostly ho-hum first day of the NCAA Tournament.

The Black Knights from the Patriot League became the first No. 4 regional seed to win when they upset North Carolina State 5-1 on Friday night. Three No. 4s won openers last year, most notably Davidson, which made it to a super regional.

Army, now 4-12 all-time in seven tournament appearances and first since 2013, plays Auburn on Saturday. The Wolfpack will try to stay alive in an elimination game against Northeastern.

Defending national champion Florida shook off Columbia for an easy win in its opener Friday. There was more drama in wins by UCLA and South Carolina.

The Bruins, the No. 2 seed in the Minneapolis Regional, scored four times in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 6-5 walk-off win over No. 3 Gonzaga. South Carolina, No. 2 seed in Greenville, North Carolina, wiped out a two-run deficit with a five-run seventh and beat No. 3 Ohio State 8-3.

Army clearly had the biggest win. The Knights 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 off Army's win over the No. 16 national seed.

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 13-5 in Gainesville, Florida.


The wildest game was in Tallahassee, Florida, 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. The Sooners tacked on four more runs in the ninth to score 20 in a postseason game for the first time since 1986.

Brandon Zaragoza had his first career four-hit game, and six other Sooners finished with at least two hits. OU tied its season high with 22.

"As we started to build that confidence, knowing we could put runs up against those guys, it was contagious and the momentum kept building and going," Zaragoza said.

Oklahoma was without two of its top players, outfielders Steele Walker (oblique) and Kyler Murray (hamstring). They are day-to-day, coach Skip Johnson said.

Before Friday, Mississippi State hadn't given up so many runs since a 20-9 loss to Arkansas in March 2009.


— Drake Fellows allowed three hits, walked two and struck out eight in seven shutout innings in Vanderbilt's 2-0 win over St. John's.

— North Carolina's Cooper Criswell and three relievers combined to strike out 10, walk none and limit North Carolina A&T to five hits in an 11-0 win.

— Joe DeMers scattered six singles and allowed one run over eight innings in Washington's 7-1 win over UConn.

— Jordan Butler pitched five innings of two-hit relief for Florida.

— Arkansas' Blaine Knight held Oral Roberts to three hits and two runs over eight innings in a 10-2 win.

— Nick Bush, Devin Fontenot and Todd Peterson combined to hold San Diego State to two hits and one run after the fourth inning in LSU's 6-4 win.

— Cal State Fullerton's Colton Eastman and Blake Workman combined to limit Baylor to five hits and one earned run and strike out 10 in a 6-2 win.

— John Doxakis, Stephen Kolek and Christian Roa combined to strike out 17 as Texas A&M beat Indiana 10-3.


— Kieton Rivers homered, doubled and drove in five runs to lead Coastal Carolina to a 16-1 win over LIU Brooklyn, which is in the tournament for the first time since 1972.

— South Carolina's Danny Blair hit the go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh off Ohio State star reliever Seth Kinker. Blair entered the game with two home runs in 104 games. Kinker had pitched 60 1/3 innings this season without giving up a homer.

— Wil Dalton went 4 for 5 with two doubles, a home run and six RBIs in Florida's win, and the Gators had a season-high 10 extra-base hits.

— Freshman Heston Kjerstad homered twice for No. 5 national seed Arkansas.

— Michael Bush hit his team-leading 13th homer, doubled and drove in five runs for North Carolina.

— Auburn's Steven Williams went 4 for 4 with a homer, double and five RBIs in a 13-4 win over Northeastern.

— Oklahoma State collected a season-high 15 hits as it beat South Florida 9-2.

— Luke Miller homered twice in Indiana's loss.


The start of the Oxford (Mississippi) Regional was pushed back to Saturday because of heavy rain. Tennessee Tech plays Missouri State and Ole Miss meets Saint Louis, with the revised schedule calling for three games Sunday.

The Campbell-Georgia game at Athens, Georgia, was postponed until Saturday because of rain.


Associated Press Writer Joe Reedy contributed from Tallahassee.

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