IU drops NCAA opener, while ISU gets first tourney win since ’95

(WXIN File Photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — 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.

Indiana State edges McNeese 6-5 for 1st NCAA win since 1995

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Dane Tofteland hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning and second-seeded Indiana State edged McNeese 6-5 on Friday in the Nashville regional opener for the Sycamores’ first win in the NCAA Tournament since 1995.

Indiana State (42-16) will play top-seeded Vanderbilt or No. 4 seed Ohio State on Saturday night.

McNeese (35-25) led 1-0 on an RBI single by Jeff Dickerson in the first, and the Southland Conference Tournament champs held the lead until the bottom of the third in the Cowboys’ first regional since 2003.

Indiana State took a 3-1 lead in the third on a two-run double by Jake Means, and Roby Enriquez doubled to drive in Means. Clay Dungan added an RBI single in the fourth.

McNeese tied it at 4 in the fifth on a two-run triple by Nate Fisbeck, and he scored on Clayton Rasbeary’s sacrifice fly. Tofteland put Indiana State ahead to stay with his homer, though the Cowboys pulled within 6-5 on a bases-loaded groundout by Reid Bourque in the sixth.

Triston Polley (8-1) got the victory despite giving up five runs in five innings pitched.

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