Joe Aeilts hit a go-ahead, RBI double in the top of the eighth inning, and Illinois State recovered from blowing a five-run lead to beat Indiana 8-7 on Friday in the opener of the Louisville regional.
Aeilts delivered the last of three doubles for the hard-hitting Redbirds (35-24), who collected 18 hits and led 7-2 after six innings. Second-seeded Indiana (36-22) tied it with a five-run seventh in which it scored twice on bases-loaded walks and another run on a hit batsman. Derek Parola, who had two RBIs, singled to lead off the eighth for No. 3 ISU before Aeilts doubled to left off Connor Manous (1-1).
Dalton Harvey (1-0) pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief for the victory as five Redbird pitchers combined for 18 strikeouts. ISU faces the Illinois Chicago-Louisville winner on Saturday. Indiana (36-22) aims to avoid elimination against the loser of that contest.
The Hoosiers had seven hits and led 2-0 on Elijah Dunham’s two-run homer to right center in the first.