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Photo: Courtesy of Indiana University
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Photo: Google Images
Indiana University baseball is leaving Wednesday to their first College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.
During this year’s NCAA tournament, Indiana went 5-0, ending the Super Regional with a sweep of FSU.
The Big Ten has not been represented in the College World Series since 1984. Michigan was the last team to play for the title.
“It is everybody’s dream when you play college baseball or coach is to get to Omaha,” says IU baseball head coach Tracy Smith. “That is the good thing and the bad thing because you don’t really say let’s go win a national championship, everybody says let’s get to Omaha. Now that we have got to Omaha, we have had to readjust our goals and our goals are to win this thing.”
The top eight teams in the NCAA will be facing off at the CWS, but Smith says his team will not be intimidated. The IU baseball team has played on big stages before and knows how to handle the big crowds as well.
Indiana faces Louisville in the opening round of the series. the Hoosiers will take on the Cardinals at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Louisville is coming off strong wins during the Super Regional upsetting a strong Vanderbilt team.
The Hoosiers have a 2-1 record against the Cards this season, but IU coach Tracy Smith says they are are not letting that get to their heads.
“I think our guys will have confidence because they are familiar with their opponent, but we are not going to do the battle cries because we beat them twice,” he says. “It is a whole new season now, they’re a whole team now in terms of how they are they playing.”
Smith says his team plans to play the same way they have all season despite a national championship being on the line now.
Smith emphasizes that though IU is now playing for a National Championship, they are going to stay true to who they are. He says they have however boosted their expectations.
“Our mantra has been and will be when we are there and certainly was this past weekend in Tallahassee, is we are going to be who we are, we are not going to do things differently now that we are in Omaha playing for a National Championship,” he says.
He wants to represent the school, the state, and alumni across the country and play some good baseball this coming up weekend.
The Hoosier Baseball team will be leaving Bart Kaufman Field today at 5 p.m. as they are sent off by fans, friends, and family.
The series is a double elimination tournament. The College World Series runs June 15-26 and will be able to be viewed ESPN.
Full Interview with Tracy Smith: