Illinois State rallied in the top of the ninth inning with two runs to tie the game against No. 7 national seed Louisville at 3-3, but the Cardinals (47-16) pushed a run across in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat the Redbirds (36-26) and win the Louisville Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium Monday afternoon..
ISU rallied in the top of the ninth inning to knot the game at 3-3. Jordan Libman scored on a Joe Aeilts fly ball that was misplayed in center that allowed Aeilts to move to third and he later scored on an RBI single to right field by Butler to tie it up headed to the bottom of the inning.
The Cardinals loaded the bases with one out in the ninth and Alex Binelas laced a single up the middle to give Louisville the walk-off winner and the regional title.
The Redbirds won multiple games in the postseason for the first time in program history and advanced to their first Regional final.
Starting pitcher Matt Walker and first baseman Jack Butler were named to the All-Louisville Regional Team after strong performances.
Derek Parola finished 2-for-3 with a run scored and Butler was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs batted in.
Colton Johnson struck out a career-high eight over a career-high 7 1/3 innings. He allowed three runs, two earned on six hits and walked three.
The Major League Baseball draft is underway and several Redbirds are likely to hear their names called in the next few days.