Hoosiers headed to Austin Regional, will face Texas A&M

Chris Lemonis doesn’t pay attention to NCAA Tournament projections.

During the buildup to the postseason, the Indiana baseball coach might glance at the RPI to get a feel for where his team stands nationally, but he doesn’t bother looking at seed predictions and possible tournament destinations.

“My wife thinks I’m lying,” he said.

On the other hand, Lemonis’ players try to keep tabs on where they could be headed. Even so, Monday’s announcement that IU is bound for the Austin, Texas Regional caught some by surprise.

“Unlike coach, we had looked at some of the projections,” senior outfielder Logan Sowers said, “and I hadn’t seen anything about Texas.”

Indeed, the tradition-rich Longhorns program are set to welcome the second-seeded Hoosiers to the Lone Star State, where IU will open the NCAA Tournament against No. 3 Texas A&M on Friday at 5 p.m. Eastern. With a victory, Indiana would meet the winner between No. 1 Texas and No. 4 Texas Southern.

“It’s exciting to be in a regional and prove yourself,” Sowers said.

This is the fifth time in the last six seasons and the eighth time overall that Indiana will play in the NCAA Tournament. Lemonis is the only coach in program history to make three regionals in his first four seasons, and all three of IU’s all-time at-large bids have come since Lemonis was hired for the 2015 season.

Since the start of the 2008 season, Indiana leads the Big Ten in wins (382) and conference wins (147). The Hoosiers have made six NCAA Regionals over that span, the most of any Big Ten team.

Earning No. 2 for the second consecutive year was particularly rewarding for Lemonis.

“There haven’t been a lot of two-seeds in Indiana history and I think it says a lot about our resume that we built all year long,” Lemonis said. “It says a lot about our kids and their effort.”

The Hoosiers (38-17) lost two of their three games at last week’s Big Ten Tournament after opening the postseason on a six-game winning streak. IU is slotted at No. 29 in the RPI with a 2-3 record against RPI top 25 competition and an 8-12 record against the top 50.

Texas A&M is No. 15 in the RPI, Texas is No. 22 and Texas Southern is No. 215.

“Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Southern are three really good teams,” Lemonis said. “So it should be a fun regional.”

2 comments

  1. Unless I am missing something I don’t see IU beating A&M. Not much happening. I also felt IU coaching rode IU pitcher to long before pulling him. He was looking tired to me and Illinois was knocking him around a little before he was pulled. .

  2. Ive seen A&M play on tv a 4 or 5 times they have decent pitching not much offense IU has good pitching and good hitting so i disagree with who ever wrote the first comment now Texas i have not seen so i dont know about them

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