Indiana baseball will host three other schools this weekend in the NCAA Regional round at the expanded Bart Kaufman Field.
Expanded as in the university has installed approximately 1,600 temporary bleachers behind the right field fence to accommodate additional fans.
With the additional seats, the attendance has been increased to more than 5,000 capacity.
Indiana played five games at home this season with crowds of more than 3,000 fans. The season-high was 3,862 for the final game of the series with Purdue, May 4.
First games are set for Friday with Stanford taking on Indiana State at 2 p.m. ET followed by Indiana-Youngstown State at 7 p.m. ET. All four teams will be action again on Saturday with games at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET.
The following is a notebook either from notes from the schools or interviews coming out of Thursday's press conferences at Bart Kaufman Field.
A note on attendance
Indiana played before a crowd of 19,965 Sunday in the Big Ten championship game at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. That was the largest crowd to ever view an NCAA baseball conference championship game.
To put that number into perspective, consider this:
*** In 48 total games this season, Youngstown State did not pay in front of 19,965 fans total. The total attendance for Youngstown State (home and away) this season was 16,045. That's an average of about 320 fans per game.
***In 49 total games this season, Indiana State also did not play in front of as many fans as witnessed the Big Ten title game. Indiana State's total was 18,931, an average of 386 fans per game. In fact the largest crowd Indiana State played before this season was 2,769 – at Bart Kaufman Field against Indiana on April 9.
***Stanford had 45 games this season where it played before at least 1,000 fans. The largest was 7,044 at Texas Feb. 22.
Indiana State coach Mitch Hannahs talks about playing Stanford
Different paths to the Regional
The four teams in Bloomington this week took interesting paths to get there.
Indiana has won six games in a row, 15 of the last 16 overall and 30 of 33. The Hoosiers swept four games in last week's Big Ten Tournament to win that title for the second year in a row.
Indiana State comes to Bloomington on a three-game losing streak including the first two games in the conference tournament. Despite being the No. 1 seed, Indiana State lost to Bradley 6-2 and Missouri State 9-1.
Stanford has won four in a row and six of the last seven coming. The Pac-12 though does not have a conference tournament. The Cardinal is 9-3 in the month of May.
Youngstown State was 12-36 in the regular season before winning all four games of the Horizon League tournament and earning the automatic berth in the conference.
Here is what Indiana State coach Mitch Hannahs had to say about facing Stanford in the first game of the Regional Friday."We know Stanford is going to run quality arms out there. We know Stanford is extremely well coached and they are going to execute,'' Hannahs said. " Obviously they have some guys that have sacrificed a lot through the season. I think their mind set, obviously is to get a lead and rely on those arms, and the other thing is they have got some power numbers up and down their lineup.
"So I think for us, we have got to work hard to pitch to contact and keep them in the yard and stay close the best we can offensively so that we can keep some pressure on those arms. I don't think there's any secret, obviously; there's probably not a pitcher in the country, starting pitcher, that's as good out of the stretch as he is out of the windup. Our focus offensively is to make sure we get their starting guy in the stretch position and put some pressure on him.''
Focusing on what you can control
One theme from the press conference was that teams seemed to be more concerned with what they do themselves rather than what facing another team means.
Asked about Indiana State, for example, Stanford coach Mark Marquess said he gets more of what he needs from the statistics sheet.
"Obviously I want to know the guys that can run, but I can see that in stolen bases,'' Marquess said. " I want to know the guys that have power, I can see it in the batting stats. If I want to look at a box stat it's mainly to play our game. Pitches, you can see a little bit of a tape on something, some games, but it's difficult.''
IU third baseman Dustin DeMuth was asked about Youngstown State.
"I haven't really learned much about them, but I'm just kind of trying to focus on ourselves and our game plan and do what we do,'' DeMuth said. "We think if we play good baseball we can play with anyone in the country.''