NCAA Regional Notebook: Day 1

Indiana coach Tracy Smith reacted in the postgame press conference Friday night to comments made a few days earlier that IU did not deserve a national seed. Read about that and about IU's pitching situation for Saturday in this NCAA Notebook.

It's not difficult to get Indiana baseball coach Tracy Smith riled up on certain topics.

One of them is the apparent lack of respect the IU baseball team has received nationally since acquiring the No. 4 national seed in the 2014 NCAA Baseball Tournament.

In a college baseball show in the last two days, IU's national seed was called into question. Smith didn't appreciate it and let his feelings be known on the topic Friday night after the Hoosiers knocked off Youngstown State 10-2 in the first game of the Bloomington Regional.

"I wasn't real happy with the comments made, you know, I'll be honest with you, about us not deserving a national seed,'' Smith said. "That didn't set well with me, because, you know, what more do we have to do? We made it to the World Series last year. Those are some pretty good teams that get there. We have a pretty good core of that group coming back. Our ERA is in the top three in the country so we did talk about that. It wasn't about who we are playing and all that. We are going to go out and be Indiana and let's play the way we play.''

Smith admitted that he takes some of the knocks from a national standpoint regarding Big Ten baseball personally.

"It gets to me personally because I think it's an underlying theme, and it goes unsaid, that we don't play baseball up here or the Big Ten is a bad conference,'' Smith said. "I get sick and tired of hearing that stuff. Because if you play in this conference, I don't care who you are; you've got to be on your game every single weekend or you're going to lose games. And I get it. It's tough. There's no formula for that, but I think we earned the seed and I wish people would just leave it at that. And I even say personally to myself, it's like you can't take it away.''

Smith said no matter what happens moving forward he is very proud of his teams' accomplishments this season.

"Regardless of the outcome of how we play and from this point forward, our team has earned the No. 4 national seed across the country,'' Smith said. "However that plays out is great, but we earned it and people and I just wish people would leave it at that.''

INTRIGUING PITCHING MATCHUP SATURDAY

Both Stanford and Indiana will have their aces on the mound Saturday at 6:05 p.m. ET when the teams square off in the winners bracket of the Regional.

Stanford junior left hander John Hochstatter is 10-1 this season with a 2.62 ERA. He had 34 strikeouts and 27 walks in 72 innings pitched. Indiana will counter with senior lefty Joey DeNato , the Big Ten pitcher of the year, who is 12-1 this season with a 1.77 ERA. DeNato has 77 strikeouts and 38 walks in 101.2 innings pitched.

"We are going to go with Joey (DeNato), and he's ready and looking forward to it,'' Smith said. "And we feel like that gives us the best chance with the opponent that we are facing tomorrow. So, yeah, Joey is going to be our tomorrow starter.''

At the time that Stanford beat Indiana State it wasn't clear if it would be the Hoosiers that the Cardinal faced on Saturday. But Stanford coach Mark Marquess said his team would be ready for whoever they faced.

"They're very good, very talented,'' Marquess said of the Hoosiers. "But as I mentioned yesterday, whomever you're playing now is really good. Youngstown is really good. They're playing well or they wouldn't be here. And that's what it's all about, playing well at the right time, at the end.

"But we don't know much about Indiana. We just know they're a great team. They have a lot of older players. They have a lot of juniors and seniors and there's no substitute for that experience.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch


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