11:59 PM CST UPDATE
....With Arizona State, Long Beach State, and Cal State-Fullerton all carrying big leads into the late innings, it looks as if Friday's 32 scheduled games will break down like this: (26) games with the favored team winning, (3) games with the underdog winning, and (3) games postponed due to weather. The only upsets of the day were three seeds over two seeds: St. John's over Virginia in Corvallis, Oklahoma over Southern Miss in Oxford, and Creighton over NC State in Lincoln.
....Here's how conferences with more than two bids fared on day one: SEC (8-0, one rainout), PAC 10 (4-0, one rainout), Big XII (3-1, one rainout), ACC (5-2), CUSA (1-2, one rainout).
....If we got to watch only half of the sixteen winners' bracket games on Saturday, here they are:
....South Carolina vs Georgia Tech: The Jackets are coming off ACC regular season and tournament titles, while USC has been to the CWS three straight times.
....LSU vs Rice: Two traditional powers get together. The Tigers are not playing great ball, but can the Owls knock off LSU in Baton Rouge?
....College of Charleston vs Clemson: This was one of our upset picks heading into the Regionals. A Cougar win puts CofC in the driver's seat in Clemson.
....Mississippi State vs Miami: The Bulldogs are one of the hottest teams in the land right now, while UM All-American Cesar Carillo has lost the only two games of his career over the last two weeks.
....Winthrop vs Tennessee: This was another of our upset picks. The Vols used ace Hochevar on Friday, so here is the Eagles' big chance to take control in Knoxville.
....Nebraska vs Creighton: We said earlier in the week that these in-state rivals could meet as many as three times this weekend. Hawks Field will be filled to capacity Saturday night.
....Coastal Carolina vs Arizona State: The Chanticleers desperately wanted a host spot but were not awarded one. Can they go on the road and avoid the upset-minded Sun Devils?
....Arizona vs Cal State-Fullerton: Had the Wildcats bid to host, they would likely be in Tucson as the number one seed. Instead, they're stuck with the Titans, and both teams are ranked in the top seven of SCS.com's Fab 15.
10:20 PM CST UPDATE
....The Florida/Stetson game in Gainesville has been postponed until tomorrow morning. There will be three games at that site on Saturday.
....Alabama got a tough battle from Louisiana-Lafayette but hung on for a 7-5 win. The SEC finishes the day 8-0. Of the 26 games played so far today, the higher seed has won 23 times.
9:55 PM CST UPDATE
....Creighton knocked off NC State 8-3 in Lincoln, setting up a huge in-state showdown between the Blue Jays and Nebraska on Saturday. Creighton won two of the three regular season games between the two this year, and over 20,000 attended the final game of that series.
....The tarp is off the field in Gainesville, but the field needs work. No official decision yet.
9:30 PM CST UPDATE
....Mississippi's 5-0 win over Maine moves the SEC to 7-0 on the day. Alabama is still in action against Louisiana-Lafayette, while Florida is in a weather delay against Stetson. Oregon State got their first ever regional host off to a good start with a walk-off homerun in the bottom of the ninth to beat Ohio State 4-3.
....Of the 24 games decided so far today, the favored team (higher seed) has won 22 times.
9:15 PM CST UPDATE
....A few more finals rolling in, none too surprising. Texas welcomed Quinnipiac to Austin with a 20-2 whooping. Though the Horns had 16 hits, they were also helped out by six Bobcat errors. Tennessee and Austin Peay went back and forth, but it was the Vols that scored last and won the game 7-5. UT ace Luke Hochevar gave up five runs in eight innings of work. Rice trailed a couple of times early but came back and took a 7-3 contest from Northwestern State. Clemson had a similar situation against North Carolina A&T, but the Tigers responded in a big way with eleven runs in the seventh and eighth innings to win the game by a score of 12-2. Miami scored four runs in the first three innings and got solid pitching for a 6-2 win over Virginia Commonwealth. Arizona took a three-run lead in the seventh and then held off a ninth-inning Missouri rally to claim the 5-3 victory.
....Stetson and Florida are still in a weather delay in Gainesville. Officials there will wait as late as 10:00 PM CST to make a decision about this evening's game.
8:30 PM CST UPDATE
....The Gainesville Regional is currently in a weather delay. Stetson and Florida are waiting to take the field.
....Florida State got just two hits but was able to fend off Army 3-2 in Tallahassee. That win moves the ACC to 3-1 on the day.
8:05 PM CST UPDATE
....The first two West Coast finals of the day are in. Top-seeded Coastal Carolina got seven runs in the fifth and picked up a 12-8 victory over UNLV in the opening game of the Tempe Regional. Out in Long Beach, Southern Cal took down Pepperdine 7-3 to claim a day one victory.
7:55 PM CST UPDATE
....Several more games have gone final during the late afternoon hours. St. John's scored two go-ahead runs in the sixth and then held on for the 5-3 win over Virginia. Oklahoma took a lead in the fifth inning and then held off a Southern Miss rally in the bottom of the ninth to win the game 5-4. Top-seeded Tulane got a battle from Southern University early but then pulled away in the late innings, knocking off the Jaguars 17-7. Two ACC squads also picked up late afternoon victories. North Carolina went up 5-1 in the fifth inning and held Notre Dame scoreless after the first inning for an opening-day victory. In Atlanta, Georgia Tech battled a fiesty Furman team and saw the Paladins tie the game in the eighth inning. But the Jackets, playing in front of the home crowd, scored a run in the bottom of the tenth inning and escaped with a 5-4 victory.
....The Waco Regional has been washed out for the day. The first round games will be played at 2:00 PM CST and 7:00 PM CST Saturday, and three games will be played on Sunday. One game will take place on Monday, with a second if necessary game on the schedule that day as well.
A couple of interesting notes: There were only eleven total hits in the College of Charleston/Oral Roberts game in Clemson this afternoon. Four of the twelve games thus far have seen only one or no runs scored after the sixth inning.
....As mentioned before, the SEC is 5-0 thus far. The ACC and Big XII have had good days as well, the ACC sitting at 2-1 so far and the Big XII at 2-0.
4:55 PM CST UPDATE
....With Mississippi State's 13-2 victory over Florida Atlantic, the SEC moves to 5-0 on the day. Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama all play later this evening.
4:30 PM CST UPDATE
....Two more finals are in. Nebraska had a tough battle with Illinois-Chicago but topped the Flames by a score of 8-6. College of Charleston put the three game-winning runs on the board in the sixth inning and then held off Oral Roberts by a score of 5-2 to move into Saturday's winner's bracket play.
4:15 PM CST UPDATE
....Start of the Waco Regional on the campus of Baylor University has been delayed until at least 5:00 PM CST. TCU and Stanford will play in game one with Baylor and Texas-San Antonio to follow 45 minutes later.
....LSU rallied and knocked off Marist in Baton Rouge, so the SEC is now 4-0 on the day. Mississippi State is leading FAU 10-2 late in that game in Coral Gables. Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama all play later this evening.
3:30 PM CST UPDATE
....All 3:00 PM CST games are underway in Atlanta, Oxford, and Tallahassee.
....The fourth game of the day has gone final, this one in Knoxville. Winthrop eased past Wichita State 2-1 in a Friday afternoon pitcher's duel. Those two squads will await the result of this evening's battle between Tennessee and Austin Peay.
3:00 PM CST UPDATE
....The 2:00 PM CST regionals in Clemson, Coral Gables, and Corvallis are underway without current weather problems, though there are threats in the South Carolina and south Florida areas. The New Orleans Regional is also underway. Things aren't looking so good in Waco right now. Thunderstorms are rolling through that area, delaying the start of game one between TCU and Stanford.
....The second and third finals of the day are in, and two more SEC schools have come out on top. Arkansas took down Miami (Ohio) in Austin. The Hogs expanded a 3-1 lead to 9-1 before the Red Hawks responded with four in the ninth. But it wasn't enough, and UA advances to the winner's bracket with a 9-5 victory. In Tallahassee, Auburn expanded the lead late and sent South Alabama to the loser's bracket with a 13-5 win. Arkansas awaits the Texas/Quinnipiac winner, while Auburn will take on the Florida State/Army winner.
2:10 PM CST UPDATE
....Game one of the 2005 NCAA Regionals is in the books. After Michigan tied the game in the top of the ninth inning, South Carolina responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the ninth to win the contest 6-5.
....All games with 12:00 PM CST and 1:00 PM CST start times are underway without weather problems. The biggest surprise thus far is in Baton Rouge where LSU trails Marist 4-2 in the bottom of the third. Elsewhere, favored SEC squads Arkansas and Auburn are on top right now. Wichita State and Winthrop are tied at one in the fourth, while Illinois-Chicago put a quick run on the board and leads Nebraska early.
11:10 AM CST UPDATE
The Atlanta Regional has gotten underway on time. South Carolina radio announcers indicate it has rained hard recently and that the weather will be threatening throughout the day and weekend. No sunshine in the forecast.
Both 12:00 PM CST starts are in serious question. Arkansas and Miami (Ohio) are set to hit the field in Austin, while Auburn and South Alabama are in Tallahassee. Radar indicates heavy rain in the Austin area and spotty showers in the Tallahassee area.
11:00 AM CST UPDATE
....Weather could be a big concern throughout the weekend at a large majority of the Regional sites. After a 11:00 AM CST glance at the national radar, here's a brief uneducated opinion on how things look at each of the locations:
....CLEAR: Baton Rouge, Corvallis, Fullerton, Long Beach, New Orleans, Oxford, Tempe
....WET: Austin, Coral Gables, Waco
....QUESTIONABLE: Atlanta, Clemson, Gainesville, Knoxville, Lincoln, Tallahassee
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