1. Indiana State
Record: 41-15, 14-7 MVC
Coach: Rick Heller
Most recent tournament title: 1995 (6 total)
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Top players: C Jeremy Lucas (.363, 9 HRs) is a Johnny Bench Award semifinalist P Dakota Bacus is 7-3 with a 2.08 ERA P Sean Manaea struck out 54 in 47 innings in conference games.
Did you know: The Sycamores ranks fourth nationally with 102 hit-by-pitches, led by OF Landon Curry (18).
At-large hopes: Strong. The Sycamores, with a No. 41 RPI, should be in regardless of how they fare this week. A regular-season title didn’t do Missouri State any good in 2009, but the MVC’s No. 6 ranking should make this selection day more productive for the conference.
2. Missouri State
Record: 37-18, 13-7
Coach: Keith Guttin
Most recent tournament title: 1997 (2)
Top players: P Nick Petree is 10-3 with a 0.91 ERA and 102 strikeouts. His streak of 38 innings without allowing a run ended in Thursday’s loss to Indiana State 2B Kevin Medrano is hitting .332 with 17doubles CF Spiker Helms leads the Bears with 21 doubles and has six home runs and 39 RBIs.
Did you know: MSU shut out 10 opponents, a school record.
At-large hopes: Strong. MSU’s No. 37 RPI and winning 2 of 3 from Indiana State look good on the resume. So does a strength of schedule ranked No. 63, which includes going 6-3 against the Big 12. An 0-2 record on its home field this week might raise doubt. Anything better should lock it up.
3. Wichita State
Record: 35-23, 12-9
Coach: Gene Stephenson
Most recent tournament title: 2009 (17)
Top players: DH Johnny Coy leads the MVC with 62 RBIs and ranks third with a .352 batting average P Kris Gardner started four MVC games and went 2-0 with a 0.32 ERA, allowing two runs in 28 1/3 innings P Josh Smith is 2-2 with a 2.72 ERA in conference games.
Did you know: P Cale Elam leads WSU with nine saves and is tied for the lead with six victories with Smith.
At-large hopes: Needs work. The Shockers are in solid shape with a No. 44 RPI and their impressive No. 42 ranking in schedule strength. WSU can’t go winless this week and probably needs to win at least two games. Anything other than a title makes the Shockers nervous on selection day.
4. Illinois State
Record: 31-17, 10-9
Coach: Mark Kingston
Most recent tournament title: 2010 (1)
Top players: 3B Zac Johnson leads the Redbirds with a .339 batting average and a .542 slugging percentage P Kenny Long is 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA and four saves in conference games.
Did you know: The Redbirds are the hottest team, 9-1 entering the tournament after winning a series at Evansville last week.
At-large hopes: Not happening, although a No. 52 RPI is respectable.
5. Evansville (31-15, 10-11)
Coach: Wes Carroll
Most recent tournament title: 2006 (1)
Top players: CF Kevin Kaczmarski leads the Aces with a .444 slugging percentage and a .419 on-base percentage P Kyle Freeland threw a one-hitter against Missouri State in a 1-0 victory, striking out 11, on May 13.
Did you know: Evansville won series against Missouri State, Wichita State and Creighton in the same season for the first time since 2001.
At-large hopes: None. The Aces are No. 86 in the RPI, largely because of a mediocre (14-11) record against teams ranked 101-200.
6. Southern Illinois
Record: 28-27, 9-12
Coach: Ken Henderson
Most recent tournament title: 1990 (5)
Top players: 1B Chris Serritella set a school record with 24 doubles and is hitting .394, tops in the MVC LF Jordan Sivertsen leads the MVC with 12 home runs, one more than Serritella.
Did you know: Serritella brings a 21-game hitting streak into the tournament.
At-large hopes: None. The Salukis, RPI No. 127, are 2-10 against the top 50.
Record: 26-25, 8-13
Coach: Elvis Dominguez
Most recent tournament title: 1968 (6)
Top players: P Joe Bircher leads the MVC with 104 strikeouts in 103 innings 2B Chris Godinez is hitting .327 with four home runs and 10 stolen bases.
Did you know: Bradley lost seven one-run games, four straight earlier this month.
At-large hopes: None. Give the Braves credit for playing 27 top-100 teams, second most in the MVC, and going 12-15.
Record: 22-28, 6-14
Coach: Ed Servais
Most recent tournament title: 2011 (2)
Top players: P Ty Blach is 5-5 with a 2.60 ERA 3B Chance Ross is hitting .287 with 11 doubles.
Did you know: Creighton is hitting .215 in conference games and .239 in all games.
At-large hopes: None. The Bluejays went 16-13 against teams ranked 101 or lower, a ticket to the MVC’s lowest RPI rank of No. 175