A brief primer on the Bloomington Regional

We’ll obviously get much further in depth with this as the week progresses, but here’s some basic info on the other teams in the Bloomington Regional, starting with Indiana’s opponent Youngstown State.

Youngstown State

Seed: No. 4

Record: 16-36 overall, 6-17 in the Horizon League

Bid: Horizon League Champion

Outlook: That the Penguins are even in the NCAA Tournament is a stunner. They were the No. 6 seed in the Horizon League tournament and weren’t even in the area code of .500 all season, but stunned everyone by going 4-0 in the league tournament, defeating regular season league champion Wright State twice to earn the title. They hit just .256 as a team and they’ve been outscored 389-243 this season with a team ERA of 6.90, but they are riding a heck of a high. Second baseman Phil Lipari (.322, 5 HR, 26 RBI) gives them at least one offensive threat, but they only have one pitcher with an ERA under 4.50 and no starters with an ERA under 5.00. However, they outscored opponents 30-13 in the Horizon League Tournament to earn a spot.¬†

Indiana State

Seed: No. 2

Record: 35-16 overall, 14-7 in the Missouri Valley Conference

Bid: At-large

Outlook: The Sycamores were the No 2 seed in the MVC, but went down 0-2 in the conference tournament. Still, 35 wins and an RPI of No. 21 got them in the tournament comfortably. The Sycamores hit a modest .274 as a team and had just two hitters over .300, but led the league in team ERA at 3.23. They beat Indiana 12-8 on March 26. Closer Ryan  Keaffaber has 11 saves and opponents hit just .208 against him.


Seed: No. 3

Record: 30-23 overall, 16-14 in the Pac 12

Outlook: Traditionally a college baseball powerhouse, the Cardinal snuck in this year with an RPI of 44. Playing in the loaded Pac-12, they still managed nine wins against Top 50 opponents, including one over regional host Rice, but they also lost 15 games and against the Top 50. They were under .500 before winning 11 of their last 14 games and sweeping Utah on the final weekend. The Cardinal does have some pop in the order with Alex Blandino (.306, 11 HR, 37 RBI), Austin Slater (.349, 1 HR, 36 RBI) and Zach Hoffpauir (.339, 6 HR, 28 RBI) and a pair of high-quality starters in Cal Quantril (5-5, 2.92 ERA) and John Hochstatter (10-1, 2.62 ERA).