Purdue, IU Open NCAA Regional Play Friday


Pete Cava
PBR Indiana Correspondent

Purdue and Indiana are among the 64 teams heading to this weekend’s NCAA Regionals.  Double-elimination play begins Friday at eight sites across the nation. 

On Monday the NCAA announced that defending national champion Florida is the No. 1 seed with Stanford No. 2, followed by Oregon State, Mississippi, Arkansas, North Carolina, Florida State and Georgia.  These eight schools are the top-seeded teams in their respective Regionals.     

The Boilermakers (37-19) made it to the NCAA tourney for a third time.  They’ll head to Chapel Hill, N.C., ranked second behind the North Carolina Tarheels (38-18).  The Houston Cougars (36-23) are the third seed, while the North Carolina A&T Aggies (32-23) are No. 4.  

Purdue’s first game is set for 7:00 p.m. Friday versus Houston.  The Boilermakers’ previous NCAA appearances were in 1987, when they went as an at-large team, and 2012, when they won the Big Ten tournament.  

Purdue was runnerup is this year’s conference tourney, bowing to Minnesota 6-4 on Sunday in Omaha, Neb.  

NCAA Super Regionals take place June 11-13, and the Boilermakers hope to advance  for the first time.  The Chapel Hill Regional champion will take on the winner of the DeLand, Fla., Regional, which includes No. 1 seed Stetson, No. 2 South Florida, No. 3 Oklahoma State and No. 4 Hartford. 

Mark Wasikowski, Purdue’s second-year coach, was Pepperdine’s third baseman when the Waves won the 1992 College World Series.  He served as an assistant at Southeast Missouri State, Florida, Arizona and Oregon when those schools qualified for NCAA tournament play.  

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This is the eighth NCAA post-season appearance for Indiana.  The Hoosiers (38-17) qualified for the fifth time in six years.  They open playFriday at 5:00 p.m. in Austin, Texas, against the Texas A&M Aggies (39-20).  

IU is the No. 2 seed behind the Texas Longhorns (37-20).  Texas A&M is the No. 3 seed, with Texas Southern (27-26) seeded fourth.   

The Hoosiers’ previous trips to the NCAA tourney came in 1949, 1996, 2009, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018.  

Chris Lemonis, the Bloomington school’s head coach since 2015, is now tied with Tracy Smith for the most NCAA appearances.  Smith, now at Arizona State, made it in 2009, 2013 and 2014.      

Lemonis was an infielder at Citadel when the Bulldogs played in the 1990 College World Series.  He made five trips to the NCAA tournament as an assistant coach at Citadel, and three more as a Louisville assistant.   

IU won one and lost two in this year’s conference tourney.  “We went into the Big Ten tournament wanting to win it,” said senior outfielder Logan Sowers in a press release issued by the school.  “We thought we were one of the best teams in the Big Ten.  I still think we are.  It’s exciting to be in a Regional and be able to prove yourself.”   

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A total of 56 former Indiana high school baseball players from 10 colleges are taking part in this year’s NCAA Regionals.  Here’s the breakdown: 

At Gainesville, Fla.

Florida:  none.      

Jacksonville:  none.      

Florida Atlantic:  RS So. LHP Jordan Poore (Muncie Central HS/Park Vista HS, Lake Worth, Fla.);  So. RHP Nick Prather (Zionsville HS).

Columbia:  none.        

At Stanford, Calif. 

Stanford:  none.      

Baylor:  none.      

Cal State-Fullerton:  none.     

Wright State:  Sr. INF Matt Morrow (Richmond HS);  RS So. RHP Caleb Sampen (Brownsburg HS). 

At Corvallis, Ore.

Oregon State:  none.      

Louisiana State:  none.      

San Diego State:  none.      

Northwestern State:  none.       

At Oxford, Miss,

Mississippi:  none:      

Tennessee Tech:  none.      

Missouri State:  none.      

St. Louis:  Fr. LHP Grant Fremion (Guerin HS). 

At Fayetteville, Ark.

Arkansas:  none.      

Southern Mississippi:  none.      

Dallas Baptist:  none.      

Oral Roberts:  none.      

At Chapel Hill, N.C.

North Carolina:  none.     

Purdue:  Sr. RHP Tanner Andrews (Tippecanoe Valley HS);  So. OF Milo Beam (Westfield HS);  RS Fr. Andrew Bohm (Hamilton Southeastern HS);  Jr. OF Braden Giroux (McCutcheon HS);  Fr. RHP Bo Hofstra (Illiana Christian HS);  Fr. RHP Trent Johnson (Crawfordsville HS);  Sr. 1B Evan Kennedy (Lafayette Central Catholic HS);  Jr. INF Jacson McGowan (Brownsburg HS);  RS Fr. LHP Matt Moore (Avon HS); Fr. OF Ben Nisle (Lake Central HS);  Sr. OF Alec Olund (Lake Central HS);  Fr. INF Tyler Powers (Lafayette Central Catholic HS);  Sr. INF Harry Shipley (Indianapolis Cathedral HS);  RS Jr. Evan Warden (Western HS);  Fr. LHP Hayden Wynja (Indianapolis Heritage Christian HS).

Houston:  none.     

North Carolina A&T State:  none.         

At Tallahassee, Fla.

Florida State:  none.       

Mississippi State:  none.     

Oklahoma:  none.     

Samford:  none.       

At Athens, Ga.

Georgia:  none.    

Duke:  none.     

Troy:  none.     

Campbell:  none.       

At Raleigh, N.C.

North Carolina State:  none.     

Auburn:  none.     

Northeastern:  none.     

Army:  So. OF Jacob Hurtubise (Zionsville HS). 

At Conway, S.C.

Coastal Carolina:  Jr. RHP Dave Inman (Terre Haute West Vigo HS).

Connecticut:  none.     

Washington:  none.      

Long Island-Brooklyn:  none.        

At Minneapolis, Minn.

Minnesota:  none.     

UCLA:  none.      

Gonzaga:  none.      

Canisius:  none.       

At Austin, Texas

Texas:  none.      

Indiana:  Fr. C Drew Ashley (Evansville Memorial HS);  Fr. INF Cole Barr (Yorktown HS);  So. LHP Cameron Beauchamp (Peru HS); Fr. OF Sam Crail (Sheridan HS);  Fr. OF Elijah Dunham (Evansville Reitz HS);  Fr. LHP Nick Eaton (Cathedral HS);  So. INF Matt Gorski (Hamilton Southeastern HS);  Jr. OF Logan Kaletha (Michigan City HS/John A. Logan College);  So. RHP Cal Krueger (Jasper HS);  Fr. RHP Matt Litwicki (Lake Central HS);  Fr. RHP Austin Long (Bedford North Lawrence HS);  Fr. RHP Connor Manous (Munster HS);  Jr. INF Luke Miller (Cowan HS);  Jr. RHP Pauly Milto (Roncalli HS);  Jr. LHP Tim Herrin (Terre Haute South HS);  So. LHP Andrew Saalfrank (Heritage HS);  Fr. RHP Grant Sloan (Zionsville HS);  Fr. LHP Tommy Sommer (Carmel HS);  Sr. OF Logan Sowers (McCutcheon HS);  Sr. INF Colby Stratten (Bloomington North HS);  Fr. INF Justin Walker (Lafayette Jefferson HS).

Texas A&M:  none.      

Texas Southern:  none.       

At Greenville, N.C.

East Carolina:  none.      

South Carolina:  none.

Ohio State:  Jr. INF Brady Cherry (Lapel HS);  Fr. LHP Luke Duermit (Fishers HS);  RS Sr. RHP Curtiss Irving (Greenfield-Central HS).

North Carolina-Wilmington:  none.       

At DeLand, Fla.

Stetson:  none.      

South Florida:  none.      

Oklahoma State:  none.      

Hartford:  none.       

At Clemson, S.C.

Clemson:  none.     

Vanderbilt:  RS Fr. RHP Reid Schaller (Lebanon HS).

St. John’s:  none.     

Morehead State:  RS Fr. LHP Cory Conway (Noblesville HS);  Jr. 1B Trevor Snyder (Fort Wayne Carroll HS). 

At Lubbock, Texas

Texas Tech:  none.      

Louisville:  Fr. C Zach Britton (Batesville HS);  Graduate RHP Austin Conway (Delta HS/Indiana State U.);  So. OF Drew Campbell (Jeffersonville HS);  So. RHP Austin Dickey (New Albany HS);  Jr. RHP Bryan Hoeing (Batesville HS);  Jr. INF Devin Mann (Columbus North HS);  So. RHP Michael McAvene (Roncalli HS).

Kent State:  none. 

New Mexico State:  none.    

Note:  Players listed appear on rosters currently available from each school and are subject to change prior to tournament play.

Pete Cava is the author of “Tales From the Cubs Dugout” and “Indiana-Born Major League Baseball Players:  A Biographical Dictionary, 1871-2014.”