Wichita State's baseball team was not selected for the NCAA baseball regional field announced Monday.
The Shockers (41-19) gathered at Eck Stadium to watch the selection show on ESPN. Their most likely destinations — Fayetteville, Ark., or Norman, Okla. —were the last two to be announced.
"I came to the park a little bit optimistic," WSU pitcher Grant Muncrief said. "We were a bubble team. We had some big losses. We didn't have a whole lot of quality wins against top 25 teams. That kind of thing hurts you."
The Shockers miss out on NCAA play for the first time since 2001.
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"I felt all along we had to win the (Missouri Valley Conference) tournament," WSU coach Gene Stephenson said. "I wasn't real confident, believe me."
While the Shockers knew their case possessed shortcomings, they hoped a strong finish would get them in the 64-team field. They consider themselves a regional-caliber team.
"I just think it's ridiculous," senior outfielder Ryan Jones said. "Illinois State got a No. 3 seed, and I think we're just as good as they are and I think we deserved to be in there."
WSU has made 27 regionals in Stephenson's 33 seasons.
Illinois State, which defeated WSU in the tournament title game on Saturday, is a No. 3 seed at Louisville.