A team-by-team look at the rest of the Bloomington Regional

Youngstown State
Seed: No. 4
Record: 16-36 overall, 6-17 in the Horizon League
RPI: No. 270
Starting Lineup
1. Phil Lipari, 2B (.322, 36 runs, 5 HR, 21 RBI)
2. Alex Larivee, LF (.283, 20 runs, 17 RBI)
3. Brent Gillespie, 1B (.269, 21 runs, 2 HR, 19 RBI)
4. Matt Sullivan 3B (.234, 4 HR, 33 RBI)
5. David Saluga, DH, (.281, 1 HR, 6 RBI)
6. Josh White C (.305, 1 HR, 18 RBI)
7. Kevin Hix, CF (.233, 1 HR, 18 RBI)
8. Shane Willoughby SS (.200, 20 runs, 10 RBI)
9. Lorenzo Arcuri RF (.200, 13 runs, 4 RBI)
Starting Rotation
1. Jared Wight, LHP (1-3, 6.97 ERA, 21 K’s in 40 IP)
2. Patrick O’Brien, RHP (2-10, 7.23 ERA, 36 K’s in 66 IP)
3. Jeremy Quinlan, RHP (1-2, 5.00 ERA, 17 K’s in 36 IP)
4. Ryan Krokos RHP (0-4, 8.25 ERA, 10 K’s in 36 IP)
Top Relievers
Kevin Yarabincec, RHP (2-2, 2.43 ERA, 5 saves, 23 K’s in 22 1/3 IP)
Alex Frey, LHP (3-1, 4.58 ERA, 30 K’s in 37 1/3 IP)
OUTLOOK: Youngstown State is the single most unlikely participant, not only in the Bloomington Regional, but the entire NCAA Tournament.
The Penguins were one of just three teams with overall records under .500 to receive a bid, but the other two teams were at least close. Bethune-Cookman and Siena both finished five games short at 26-31. The Penguins were a full 20 games short. They have the second-worst RPI at 270 with only Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Jackson State — which remarkably finished 31-23 but still had RPI No. 271 out of 302 teams — finishing lower.
In the regular season, the Penguins weren’t any where near Horizon League championship contention. They finished 6-17 in league play, worst among the six baseball teams in the conference. They are fifth in team batting average in the conference at .255. They are fourth in runs scored in the conference, but last in ERA (6.90) by nearly a full run per game and have been outscored 389-243 on the season. They only two categories they lead the conference in are most strikeouts by their hitters (394) and double plays grounded into (34).
And yet they’re here, because over four days at Kapco Park in Milwaukee for the conference tournament, they were dominant. The Penguins outscored their opponents 30-13 in the Horizon League tournament, beating defending champion Valparaiso 7-3 in the opener and regular season champion Wright State twice in the tournament, including 5-4 in the final. They don’t have a starting pitcher with an ERA under 5.00 for the season, but all four starters they used in the tournament gave up two runs or fewer. Lipari, the tournament MVP, went 11-for-21 (.524) with five runs and five RBI in four games. The Penguins might seem like an easy out, but the rest of the Horizon League probably thought the same thing.
No. 2 Seed
Indiana State
Record: 35-16, 14-7 in the Missouri Valley Conference
RPI: No. 21
Starting Lineup
1. Landon Curry CF (.279, 41 runs, 20 RBI)
2. Cody Zimmerman 3B (.296, 30 runs, 1 HR, 24 RBI)
3. Jacob Hayes RF (.274, 31 runs, 4 HR, 35 RBI)
4. Mike Fitzgerald C .305, 25 runs, 3 HR, 26 RBI)
5. Connor McClain LF (.276, 23 runs 1 HR, 16 RBI)
6. Derek Hannahs 2B (.305 22 runs, 34 RBI)
7. Brian Romero DH (. 241, 1 HR, 14 RBI)
8. Jeff Zahn 1B (.246, 20 runs, 29 RBI)
9. Tyler Wampler SS (.276, 28 runs, 16 RBI)
Starting Rotation
1. Ryan Keaffaber LHP (3-1, 2.80 ERA, 11 Saves, 35 K’s in 54 2/3 IP)
2. David Stagg, LHP (7-4, 2.96 ERA, 84 K’s in 91 1/3 IP)
3. Brad Lombard RHP (6-3, 3.48 ERA, 55 K’s in 85 1/3 IP)
4. Kurt Kudrecki RHP (6-4, 4.14 ERA, 34 K’s in 71 2/3 IP)
Top Relievers
Trent Lunsford LHP (2-2, 2.03 ERA, 24 K’s in 44 1/3 IP)
Josh Dove RHP (3-1, 2.01 ERA, 3 Saves, 16 K’s in 31 1/3 IP
Outlook: The Sycamores lost Sean Manaea, the No. 34 pick in last year’s Major League Baseball Draft and the second-highest drafted Indiana State player in history, but have been a stronger top-to-bottom team in 2014, and most notably a stronger top-to-bottom pitching staff.
The Sycamores rank first in the Missouri Valley Conference in earned run average (3.23) and second in opponents batting average (.237). Keaffaber, who will actually start today led the league in saves. Both and Stagg were in the top 15 in earned run average and Stagg was among the league leaders in strikeouts. The Sycamores have a mostly pitch-to-contact staff, ranking last in the conference in strikeouts (286 in 454 1/3 IP), but they’re also first in fewest hits allowed (398). Offensively, the Sycamores aren’t exactly a juggernaut, ranking seventh in the conference in runs, hits and slugging percentage and last in home runs with just 14, but they rarely strike out and they’re second in the league in stolen bases with 68. Landon Curry leads the group in that category with 18.
Many projections heading into the tournament selection had the Sycamores pegged as a No. 3 seed especially after they lost both of their games in the MVC Tournament. They got the No. 2 in the Bloomington bracket on the strength of an excellent RPI number. The Sycamores were helped in large part by their March 26 win over Indiana, which is No. 2 in the RPI, as well as two wins over Dallas Baptist (No. 27).

No. 3 Seed
Stanford
Record: 30-23 overall, 16-14 in the Pac-12
RPI: No. 44
Starting Lineup
1. Tommy Edman SS (.234, 14 runs, 2 HR, 14 RBI)
2. Danny Diekroger 1B (.302, 36 runs, 1 HR, 19 RBI)
3. Alex Blandino 3B (.306, 41 runs, 11 HR, 37 RBI)
4. Austin Slater CF (.349, 34 runs, 1 HR, 36 RBI)
5. Zach Hoffpauir RF (.339, 28 runs, 6 HR, 28 RBI)
6. Brant Whiting C (.304, 19 RBI)
7. Wayne Taylor LF (.233, 3 HR, 16 RBI)
8. Dominic Jose DH (.186, 9 RBI)
9. Brett Michael Doran 2b (.240, 1 HR, 19 RBI)
Starting Rotation
1. Cal Quantrill RHP (5-5, 2.92 ERA, 84 K’s in 92 1/3 IP)
2. John Hochstatter LHP (10-1, 2.62 ERA, 34 K’s in 72 IP)
3. Logan James LHP (3-3, 4.13 ERA, 38 K’s in 56 2/3 IP)
4. Brett Hanewich RHP (3-4, 3.66 ERA, 34 K’s in 64 IP)
Top Relievers
A.J. Vanegas RHP (2-3, 2.16 ERA, 23 K’s in 33 1/3 IP)
Marcus Brakeman RHP (1-3, 3.71 ERA, 33 K’s in 34 IP)
Outlook: There are just six programs in college baseball who have made more trips to the College World Series than Stanford’s 16, and the Cardinal also has a pair of national titles to its name. However, Stanford hasn’t been back to Omaha since 2008 and it would be more than a bit of a surprise if it was this team that ended the drought.
Stanford finished fifth in the Pac-12 and was a bubble team right up until the season’s final week when it swept Utah. The Cardinal was 11-3 after starting the season 19-20, and that hot stretch occurred against teams in the Pac-12’s bottom half.
Still, there is plenty of talent on the Stanford roster, including five All-Pac 12 picks in Alex Blandino, Danny Diekroger, Austin Slater, John Hochstatter and Cal Quantrill, the conference’s Freshman of the Year. Blandino, who finished second in the Pac-12 in home runs, is the No. 63 overall prospect for next week’s Major League Baseball Draft according to Baseball America. Slater is No. 141 and reliever A.J. Vanegas is No. 116.