For the first time since 2010 and the fourth time in program history, the Illinois State baseball team (34-24) is headed to the NCAA Tournament as the Redbirds earned an at-large bid to the Louisville Regional where they will play Indiana (36-21) on Friday at 1 p.m. CT at Jim Patterson Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
The host Louisville Cardinals (43-15) will play Illinois-Chicago (29-21) at 5 p.m. CT Friday to round out the regional field.
The Redbirds earned the No. 3 seed at the regional and shared the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title with Dallas Baptist. Right fielder Joe Aeilts was named MVC Joe Carter Player of the Year, left-handed starting pitcher Brent Headrick was named Pitcher of the Year first year head coach Steve Holm was honored as the MVC Dan Callahan Coach of the Year. Along with Aeilts and Headrick, juniors Joe Butler and John Rave were named to the All-MVC First Team. Sophomore Jack Butler was named to the All-MVC honorable Mention team and Rave was also named to the All-MVC Defensive Team for a third straight season.
During the regular season, Illinois State tied for third in the NCAA in road wins, with the team’s 19 true road wins on the season tied for third with VCU and Central Michigan. The Redbirds’ 36 road games are tied for third nationally, trailing only Oakland (39) and Canisius (37).
For the sixth time in seven years, Indiana will be playing in the NCAA Tournament, as it was selected as the No. 2-seed in the Louisville Regional. This will be Indiana’s ninth NCAA tournament appearance and its fourth-ever at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament. The Hoosiers were the outright 2019 Big Ten regular season champions, the program’s first regular season title since the 2014 season.
Fans wanting to make the trip to Louisville can purchase their tickets through the Louisville Ticket Office. All-Session Reserved Chairback seating is $70 and Berm/General Admission seats will be $55. Single-Session (available starting Thursday, May 30th at 9am CT) tickets are $15 for Reserved Chairback, $10 for Berm/General Admission and $5 for College Student (with ID).
For updates on Illinois State Baseball at the NCAA Tournament, follow the Redbirds on Twitter (@RedbirdBaseball) and Instagram (@isuredbirdbaseball) and use the hashtag #RoadToOmaha.
Find out more at GoRedbirds.org.