A stellar complete-game effort on the mound by starter Matt Walker and a two-out, pinch-hit two-run double off the bat of Jeremy Gaines resulted in a thrilling 4-2 victory for Illinois State (36-24) over No. 7 national seed Louisville (44-16) Saturday afternoon in the NCAA Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium.
After three scoreless innings for both teams to start the game, the Redbirds finally broke out in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 1-0 lead on an RBI double by Joe Aeilts that scored Jordan Libman from first base.
The Cardinals finally got to Walker in the top of the sixth inning, scratching across two runs on three hits to take a 2-1 lead.
Aeilts came up big again for the Redbirds in the bottom of the sixth, as he beat out a would-be double play that allowed John Rave to score the tying run and make it 2-2 pinch hitter Jeremy Gaines then broke the inning open with a two-run double to give the Redbirds the lead back at 4-2 after six innings of play.
Walker shut the door on Louisville the rest of the way, not allowing a hit over the final three innings to pick up his fifth victory of the season.