TERRE HAUTE —
The Indiana State baseball team got its wish on Monday as it was chosen as an at-large team to play in the NCAA baseball tournament.
The surprise turned out to be where the Sycamores will play.
ISU (41-17) will open NCAA play against Cal-State Fullerton on Friday at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore. The game time has yet to be determined.
The site was a major surprise. Every tournament projection up until Sunday night had the Sycamores slated to play at the Purdue Regional in Gary.
Cal State-Fullerton (35-19) won the Big West Conference championship. The Titans are the No. 2 seed in the four-team regional. The Sycamores are the No. 3 seed. Top-seeded Oregon will play Ohio Valley Conference tournament champion Austin Peay in Friday's other game.
The double-elimination regional will take place at Eugene's PK Park from Friday to Sunday or next Monday.
The Sycamores got a difficult draw. Fullerton was considered to have an outside shot at hosting a regional itself. The Titans' RPI is 20. They won series against two NCAA Tournament teams (TCU and Texas A&M) and beat the top-seeded team in the tournament, Florida, in a Feb. 19 game. The Titans have also won four College World Series, most recently in 2004.
The man who scored the winning run for the Titans in the 2004 CWS was Ronnie Prettyman. He is currently in his first year as an assistant coach on ISU's staff.
Oregon (42-17) finished runner-up in the Pac-12 Conference. The Ducks are coached by George Horton, Prettyman's former coach at Fullerton.
ISU's at-large bid was the first at-large NCAA selection for any ISU sport since the men's basketball team received an at-large bid in 2000.
For more, please see Tuesday's Tribune-Star.
ISU learns of its at-large bid: