May 27, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.-- Purdue baseball has been selected as one of the 16 programs nationally to host an opening-weekend Regional in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. U.S. Steel Yard ballpark in Gary, Ind., will serve as the host venue for the four-team Regional, set for June 1-4.
U.S. Steel Yard is the home of the Gary Southshore RailCats, an independent professional team that is a member of the American Association. U.S. Steel Yard is located at the corner of Dunes Highway and Pennsylvania Street (One Stadium Plaza) in Gary. The ballpark is easily accessible via exit 14B on Interstate 90 and only a few miles north of the I-65/I-80/I-94 interchange in Northwest Indiana.
As a reminder, Gary and the Northwest Indiana area are part of the Central Time Zone.
Tickets will be on sale through the RailCats ticket office beginning Tuesday. Walk-up ticket sales on each day of the Regional will also be available. More information about tickets will be released Tuesday morning. U.S. Steel Yard features 6,000 chair back seats. A grass berm and party deck in the outfield are used for general admission seating.
"We are very excited to have the opportunity to host an NCAA Regional in Gary next weekend," Purdue head coach Doug Schreiber said. "Located only an hour and a half away from the West Lafayette area and with a strong Purdue fan base in Northwest Indiana, we are hoping for a well-attended tournament and a home-crowd advantage. Our team is looking forward to playing at U.S. Steel Yard and representing Purdue and the Big Ten Conference as a Regional host."
As the Big Ten regular season and tournament champion, Purdue is expected to be the No. 1 seed of the four teams at the Gary Regional. The Boilermakers will most likely play at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT Friday evening against the No. 4 seed. The other three teams at the Gary Regional and the entire 64-team NCAA Tournament field will be unveiled Monday at noon ET. ESPNU will televise a live selection show and announce the brackets.
Purdue athletics will host a selection show gathering with the team Monday at 11:30 a.m. in the Kissell Center, which is located on the east side of Ross-Ade Stadium across John R. Wooden Drive from Mackey Arena and the Brees Student-Athlete Academic Center. The selection show gathering is open to the public.
An NCAA Regional features a double elimination format. The schedule calls for two games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tentative game times are set for 3 and 7 p.m. CT. If necessary, a seventh and final game would be played Monday at 7 p.m. CT.
Any live television coverage of the Gary Regional will be announced later this week.
The Boilermakers' roster features five players who are natives of Northwest Indiana: Ryan Bridges (Griffith), Blake Mascarello (Crown Point), Connor Podkul (La Porte), Mike Sudbury (Munster) and Kyle Upp (La Porte). Schreiber, a Purdue alumnus, is also a La Porte native.
The Boilermakers last played a game at U.S. Steel Yard in May 2005, taking on Valparaiso in midweek action.
Purdue is the fifth Big Ten baseball program to host an NCAA Regional. Michigan (six times, most recently 2008), Michigan State (1979), Minnesota (1977 and 2000) and Ohio State (1999, 2001 and 2003 Super Regional) have done so previously. Nebraska also hosted a Regional on multiple occasions before joining the Big Ten.
Teams will be staying at hotels in Merrillville, Ind., a community located about 10 miles south of U.S. Steel Yard.
The winners of the 16 NCAA Regionals advance to the Super Regionals. The eight Super Regional winners advance to the College World Series in Omaha. The eight national seeds receive the first opportunities to host Super Regionals. If a national seed does not win its Regional, the NCAA selects a Super Regional host from the Regional winners that are paired in adjacent brackets.
Baton Rouge, La. (LSU), Chapel Hill, N.C. (North Carolina), Charlottesville, Va. (Virginia), College Station, Texas (Texas A&M), Columbia, S.C. (South Carolina), Coral Gables, Fla. (Miami), Eugene, Ore. (Oregon), Gainesville, Fla. (Florida), Houston (Rice), Los Angeles (UCLA), Palo Alto, Calif. (Stanford), Raleigh, N.C. (North Carolina State), Tallahassee, Fla. (Florida State), Tucson, Ariz. (Arizona) and Waco, Texas (Baylor) were also selected as Regional hosts. National seeds will be announced Monday with the complete field.
The NCAA has specific requirements for a home stadium to be able to host a Regional. Lambert Field, which hosted its 48th and final season of Purdue baseball this year, did not meet some of those requirements. Loeb Stadium in Lafayette also did not meet NCAA requirements.
Purdue will be playing in the Big Ten Tournament for the second time in program history. The 1987 Boilers competed in an NCAA Regional hosted by Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss.