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Wednesday June 26th, 2019 2:47PM

No. 3 regional seeds 8-2 so far in NCAA Tournament openers

By The Associated Press
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No. 3 was the place to be in the NCAA baseball regional seedings Friday.

Of the first 10 games matching second and third seeds, the lower seed won eight of them.

The No. 3s that moved to winner's bracket games Saturday were Florida State, Duke, Southern Mississippi, Clemson, Nebraska, Loyola Marymount, Michigan and Illinois State.

The only 2 seeds to win were Indiana State and Auburn.

No. 2 national seed Vanderbilt got a complete game from Drake Fellows in an 8-2 win over Ohio State. National seeds won their first 10 games, with six others being played late Friday night.

Florida State, one of the last four teams awarded at-large bids for the 64-team tournament, hit six homers in a 13-7 win over Florida Atlantic. The Seminoles (37-21) have made the tournament all 40 years they've been coached by Mike Martin, who is retiring after the season, and 42 in a row overall. They need three more wins to extend their streak of winning at least 40 games every season under Martin, the all-time wins leader in all NCAA sports.

Michigan and Duke, also among the last four in, got huge pitching performances. The Wolverines' Karl Kauffmann scattered six hits over 8 2/3 innings in a 6-0 win over Creighton. Ben Gross gave the Blue Devils seven strong innings in an 8-5 win over Texas A&M.

Matt Wallner, Danny Lynch and Storme Cooper homered and combined for 10 RBIs and Southern Mississippi exploded for a 12-run fifth inning in a 15-3 win over Arizona State. The 12-run loss was ASU's most lopsided in the program's 248 NCAA Tournament games and only the third by double digits.

Campbell, another No. 3 seed, led North Carolina State 5-4 when the game was stopped in the middle of the ninth inning because of lightning in Greenville, North Carolina. The game will resume Saturday and be followed by the Quinnipiac-East Carolina game originally scheduled for Friday night.

Last year, No. 3 regional seeds went 7-9 in the first round.

WHO IS THIS GUY?

Florida State got a jolt from an unlikely source.

Tim Becker, a graduate student who played three seasons on FSU's club team before earning a spot on the varsity at an open tryout last fall, hit two of the Seminoles' six homers and drove in four runs to match his previous season total. He entered the game 8 for 32 for the season with no homers. He drew his fifth start in left field.

"That was surreal. Didn't expect that, honestly," Becker said. "Got to be ready when you get put into a big situation, and I did that today."

Martin said Becker did everything right to merit his shot.

"It just goes to show you that all most of us want in life is an opportunity to show what we can do," Martin said. "He kept getting better and all of a sudden I realized he's a great teammate, he's a tremendous young man. That's how he got his opportunity to make the travel squad. Then he gets an opportunity to play."

WELL, THAT'S ONE WAY TO DO IT

Nebraska's 8-5 win over Connecticut might have been the most unconventional of the day. The Cornhuskers' pitchers allowed 19 hits and their batters struck out 16 times. UConn had five doubles and a homer and at least two hits in every inning through the seventh. The Huskers turned four double plays to neutralize all that offense.

HERE'S ANOTHER WAY

After a three-hour rain delay in the bottom of the ninth, No. 14 national seed North Carolina had runners on second and third in a 6-6 game with UNCW. Danny Serretti got caught in a rundown between third and home and scored the winning run when third baseman Cole Weiss overthrew the catcher.

SHORT HOPS

— Auburn, which beat Coastal Carolina 16-7, has scored double-digit runs in four straight regional games.

— Indiana State's 6-5 win over McNeese State was its first in the tournament since 1995.

— Illinois State, which beat Indiana 8-7, won its NCAA opener for the first time since 1976.

BIG BATS

— Aaron Schunk hit two of Georgia's three home runs and had five RBIs in a 13-3 win over Mercer.

— Florida State's Mike Salvatore had four of his team's 20 hits and Drew Mendoza joined Becker in homering twice against FAU.

— Auburn 8-hole hitter Steven Williams, batting .227, had four hits, including a three-run homer, and five RBIs against Coastal Carolina.

— Arkansas' Trevor Ezell and Heston Kjerstad each homered and finished with three hits in an 11-5 win over Central Connecticut State.

— Mississippi State's Rowdey Jordan went 4 for 5 with three RBIs in an 11-6 win over Southern.

MOUND MARVELS

— Fellows earned his nation-leading 12th win, scattering seven hits and striking out nine against Ohio State.

— Brendan Beck and Cody Jensen combined on a four-hitter in Stanford's 11-0 win over Sacramento State.

— Codie Paiva and Nick Frasso combined on a four-hitter in Loyola Marymount's 3-1 win over Baylor.

— Micah Dallas limited Army to three hits and a run in seven innings in Texas Tech's 11-2 win in Lubbock, Texas.

— Clemson's Davis Sharpe pitched the final 6 2/3 innings against Illinois in his first career relief appearance.

— Illinois State starter Brent Headrick struck out 14 in six innings against Indiana.

___

AP Sports Writer Steve Megargee contributed to this report.

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