In addition to Maryland and Michigan, Illinois, Iowa and Indiana all qualified for 2015 NCAA Regionals, marking the first time the Big Ten Conference earned five such bids. Here’s a closer look at some of these programs, who have welcomed some impressive improvements to their home ballparks:
Notable: For the first time, program earned a national seed (no. 6 overall), 11th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and third in the past five years. No. 1 winning percentage (0.848) in NCAA Division I Baseball and fewest losses (8); Big Ten-record 27-game winning streak from March 30-May 20, which was the longest winning streak in the country in 2015.
2015 recap: head coach Dan Hartleb led Fighting Illini to a 47-8-1 overall record and won the Big Ten regular season championship.
Facility: Illinois Field added turf in 2008, clubhouse facilities in 2010 a new video scoreboard in 2015.
Notable: Head Coach Rick Heller helped the Hawkeyes to their first Regional appearance in 25 years.
2015 recap: 39-16 overall, finished second in the Big Ten in 2015, ascended to 13th in the national polls.
Facility: Phase II of Duane Banks Field renovations included synthetic turf, padded outfield wall and videoboard installation; Phase III will include new stadium seating new press box.
Notable: Qualified for third consecutive Regional appearance for the first time in school history; made school’s first-ever appearance in College World Series in 2013.
2015 recap: First-year head coach Chris Lemonis led Hoosiers to a 34-22 overall record and went 11-3 in final 14 games leading up to Regionals.
Facility: Bart Kaufman Field is a $19.8 million complex opened in 2012; features synthetic turf field and houses players locker room, coaches locker room, training area, team room and more, including a press box that can accommodate 15 media stations and radio announcers.