OMAHA, Neb. — Senior right-hander Corey Maines struck out 12, but the Illinois State baseball team’s offense mustered just three hits as the No. 3-seeded Redbirds lost to sixth-seeded Indiana State, 5-2, Monday in the opening round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at TD Ameritrade Park.
The Redbirds (35-17) will play at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the double-elimination tournament against No. 7 seed Evansville (28-24), which lost 2-1 to Wichita State later in the day.
Indiana State’s Collin Rea (8-4) limited the Redbirds to two hits and one run over five innings, while relievers Reggie Hochstedler and Blake Drake allowed just one hit over the final three to send the Sycamores (27-27) into today’s second-round against No. 2 seed Wichita State (37-24) at 4 p.m.
“With the quality pitching that’s in this league combined with playing in this pitcher-friendly park, runs are going to be tough to come by at the tournament,” ISU coach Mark Kingston said. “When we get our chances, we need to take advantage of them. As well as Rea pitched, he walked us six times, but we didn’t get the clutch hits that we needed after reaching on walks.”
ISU stranded nine baserunners.
Pinch-hitter David Fallon had a run-scoring groundout to make it 5-2 in the ninth. Zach Amrein had two of ISU’s three singles, including one that drove in a run in the second.
Indiana State scored twice in the first inning off Maines (9-4) and added a solo tally in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead. Maines allowed three runs, two earned.