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.
It was a busy week last week for Illinois State. 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.