All roads lead to Omaha this time of year. Some just take a more direct route than others. That was the case Friday on the opening day of NCAA Baseball Super Regionals.

All 4 of the seeded host teams won Game 1 of their best-of-3 series. But each had varying degrees of difficulty in taking their first major steps toward a trip to the College World Series.

While Florida State cruised to an easy victory against overmatched UConn by sending a Super Regional-record 24 runs across the plate, ACC rival North Carolina needed another miracle ninth-inning rally to eke out a win against West Virginia.

And while Tennessee needed 2 big innings to pull away from ultimate underdog Evansville, Virginia needed the same kind of late offensive surge to slip past Kansas State.

As the old saying goes, there are no pictures on the scoreboard. Just numbers.

And so far, the numbers are impressive. By winning their 3 games Friday, seeded ACC teams are now 18-1 in this NCAA Tournament and still on pace to match or surpass the CWS record of 4 teams from a single conference.

Before moving on to a full slate 8 Super Regional games on Saturday, here’s a look back at some takeaways from each of Friday’s 4 Day 1 games:

Super Regional superlatives

  • Florida State’s Jaime Ferrer, 3-of-4, 2 HR, 3 RBIs, 3 runs.
  • Florida State’s Marco DInges, 2-of-5, HR, 4 RBIs, 3 runs.
  • North Carolina’s Vance Honeycutt, 2-of-5, 2-run walkoff HR.
  • North Carolina’s Matt Poston, 3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 4 strikeouts.
  • Tennessee’s Hunter Ensley, 3-of-4, HR, 4 RBIs, 2 runs.
  • Tennessee’s AJ Causey, 4.2 innings, 0 runs, 8 strikeouts.
  • Virginia’s Henry Godbout, 2-of-5, HR, 3 RBIs.

Alert the CFP Committee

Who says Florida State can’t score a lot of points without Jordan Travis?

The Seminoles scored three touchdowns and a field goal in their postseason game on Friday to post a convincing 24-4 rout of UConn.

Okay, so it was a baseball Super Regional, not the College Football Playoff. And those 24 points came by way of 5 home runs, including two by Jaime Ferrer, and 18 hits not passes, runs or pick-6s.

But you get the point.

In 4 NCAA Tournament games thus far, FSU has outscored its opposition by a whopping 42-12 margin. This latest offensive explosion is an example of how a national seed is supposed to take care of business against a surprise team that was seeded third in its regional.

It was a group effort that saw 5 different FSU hitters drive home 3 or more runs. ACC Player of the Year James Tibbs III and Marco Dinges had 4 each. Ferrer, DeAmez Ross and McGwire Holbrook added 3 apiece. Neither Ross, who homered, nor Holbrook started the game.

There’s still work to do. The Seminoles still need 1 more win to earn their first trip to Omaha since 2019. But with ace Jamie Arnold rested and waiting to finish the Huskies off on Saturday, you have to like their chances.

Chapel Thrill, again

If nothing else, give UNC credit for having a flair for the dramatic.

It took a 6-run ninth inning rally, capped by a walkoff grand slam by Gavin Gallaher, to avoid an opening game regional upset at the hands of Long Island University last Friday. Then 3 nights later, the Tar Heels needed a run in the ninth to tie and another in the 10th to win against LSU in the deciding game of the Chapel Hill Regional.

Friday in Game 1 of their Super series against West Virginia, Scott Forbes’ 4th-seeded team pulled yet another rabbit out of its hat.

Entering the 8th inning trailing by 2 against Mountaineers’ ace Derek Clark, UNC got within a run on a homer by No. 9 hitter Colby Wilkerson. Freshman catcher Luke Stevenson then got the Tar Heels even with a homer leading off the 9th.

But that only set the stage for the real fireworks. After Clark was finally taken out of the game after an incredible 144 pitches, Alex Madera greeted reliever Aidan Major with a single that set the stage for Vance Honeycutt to launch a 425-foot walkoff bomb that sent the sellout crowd at Boshamer Stadium into a frenzy.

“It’s something called Bosh Magic,” Honeycutt said in a postgame interview on ESPN. “And it’s real this year.”

Charlottesville hustle

The SportCenter highlight from Virginia’s 7-4 Game 1 victory against Kansas State will undoubtedly be Henry Godbout’s 3-run homer that broke a 4-4 tie and helped keep the Cavaliers from the verge of elimination.

But the key play in the decisive 7th inning happened one batter earlier on a play that probably won’t make the highlight reels. Godbout would never have had the opportunity to hit his game-breaking homer had it not been for the hustle of teammate Harrison Didawick.

The sophomore left fielder hit a ball up the middle that K-State pitcher Cole Wisenbaker snagged, turned and threw to second for what looked as if it might be an inning-ending double play. But Didawick beat the relay to first to extend the rally. And Godbout finished it with one swing of the bat.

UVa’s win was its 62nd in the NCAA Tournament under coach Brian O’Connor. That’s the most among active ACC coaches and the 4th-most in ACC history. This was an especially important victory since unlike conference rivals FSU and UNC, the Cavaliers pitched their ace – Evan Blanco – in Game 1.

Aces almost wild

The biggest mismatch of the Super Regionals, at least on paper, is the one between top overall seed Tennessee and Evansville, only the 9th regional 4-seed to advance to the Supers since the format was adopted in 1999.

But apparently nobody remembered to tell the Aces that they were supposed to show up and roll over. The surprise survivor of the Greenville Regional threw a scare into the Volunteers by jumping out to an early 2-1 lead, then rallying for 3 runs in the 5th to tie the game at 5.

That turned out to be the wakeup call Tennessee needed.

The Vols answered right back with 3 runs of their own in the bottom of the 5th on a Blake Burke double and RBI singles from Clemson transfer Billy Amick and Hunter Ensley. They finally broke the game open with 3 more in the 7th, courtesy of an Ensley 3-run homer to finish off an 11-6 win.