By STEVE KRAH
Indiana State will be the home team on the scoreboard in Game 1 and — if necessary — Game 3 in NCAA super regional Friday through Sunday, June 9-11.
As the higher seed, the regional-champion Sycamores earned the right to play Texas Christian University at home.
But those contests won’t be held at Bob Warn Field in Terre Haute.
ISU will fly out Wednesday (June 7) for the Fort Worth Super Regional to be hosted by TCU. The first two games are are slated for 5 p.m. Eastern Time Friday and 6 p.m. ET Saturday. Both are on ESPNU. Game 3 — if necessary — would be contested Sunday.
The Sycamores (45-15) won the Terre Haute Regional, which wrapped Sunday, June 4. The Horned Frogs (40-22) prevailed in the Fayetteville Regional hosted by Arkansas.
Sherard Clinkscales, Indiana State’s Director of Athletics, explained the reason during press availability Tuesday (June 6).
“I know this has been very disappointing over the 24 hours,” said Clinkscales, who expressed his gratitude that ISU was able to also host the Missouri Valley Conference tournament (the Sycamores won MVC regular-season and tourney titles). “I want to thank (head coach Mitch) Hannahs and his staff and our student-athletes.
“They put it on the line each and every day. They’ve earned the right to go to super regional. We’re very proud of them. I just want to thank them fall their effort and hard work.”
Clinkscales, who serves on NCAA baseball committee, laid out a timeline related to being a regional and super regional host.
“Bids to host regional and super regional are required by the NCAA to be completed and submitted at the same time,” said Clinkscales. “The deadline for this bid to be sent was May 22, 2023.
“On May 27, 2023, during a discussion about hosting requirements at the Division I NCAA baseball committee meeting, the super regional bid was withdrawn. I take responsibility from for ISU for drawing this the super regional bid. I base that on information that I had at the time between May 22 and May 27.
“I base it on NCAA accommodations, lodging requirements, and our previous scheduled commitments. I did not believe we could host two exceptional sporting events for both (Indiana) Special Olympics and the ISU baseball team that both programs deserve for their commitment and accomplishments.”
Clinkscales notes that Indiana Special Olympics State Summer Games scheduled for June 9-11 brings in more than 3,000 athletes and 1,500 volunteers plus families. That taxes the available workers and the hotels etc.
A former player, coach and scout in college and professional baseball, Clinkscales called his decision “excruciating.”
“You know me,” said Clinkscales. “I’m very competitive.
“People think we didn’t want this. Our student-athletes earned the right.
“But for me, I had to look out for our student athletes or our coaches and from a liability standpoint and I just know after being here for seven years what a big event and a wonderful brand the Special Olympics is. I know that we already had some challenges with some volunteers. And so I had to make the tough decision.”
Clinkscales is found of using the phrase “competitive resiliency” with all of Indiana State’s intercollegiate programs.
“This (baseball) team has demonstrated that probably more than any other team this year,” said Clinkscales. “If there’s any kind of silver lining we still will be the home team in the first and third game so we don’t lose that at all. But this is bigger than that.
“This is a big disappointment. I want our alumni and our fans to know that we appreciate all their support. But this decision was not made in a vacuum.”
Also Tuesday, Hannahs addressed the situation and his team’s 2023 season and showdown with the Horned Frogs.
“We found out yesterday and we just we talked about a little while ago (as a team),” said Hannahs. “I think the bottom line is that that has kind of come and sailed and from this point forward we’ve got to focus on playing a game on the road at TCU.”
Hannahs said the Kirk Saarloos-coached Horned Frogs will force his team to make some adjustments.
“We’ve got to be ready,” said Hannahs. “We’ve got to understand what the (scouting report) is this week.
“We’ve got to do a good job preparing.”
Hannah’s noted how his squad has been fearless.
“That’s what this team has been all year,” said Hannahs. “We went down the stretch for about a month that we really couldn’t afford to lose a game if we wanted to host a regional and that was a lot on these guys.
“You’d like to be able to drop a game here and there but because of the RPI and where we were at and some of the teams were playing — even on the road — it was such a grind just to get to this backside. And it’s still a grind.”
And the grind and a chance to go to the College World Series June 16-26 in Omaha, Neb., continues in Texas.