Youngstown State, which was 12-36 on the year heading to the Horizon League conference tournament, won the first NCAA Tournament game in its school history with a 5-2 victory over No. 2 seed Indiana State in an elimination game.
Indiana State, which came into the NCAA Regional with promise and the No. 2 seed overall, was eliminated in two games, dropped its fifth game in a row and finished the season 35-18.
Patrick O'Brien threw six and 1/3 innings to improve to 3-10 on the season. Josh North and Alex Frey came on to get the final eight outs.
The Penguins (17-37) will now meet Stanford (31-24) Sunday at 1 p.m. ET in an elimination game. The winner of that game will advance to face Indiana (44-13) at 6 p.m. If they win, there will be one more game on Monday night to decide the Regional winner.
Second year Youngstown State coach Steve Gillespie said this team has exceeded his expectations.
"I think that it happened this quickly, we're probably ahead of the time frame,'' Gillespie said. "I felt we could turn things around in a short period of time. Now, this obviously kind of redefines turning things around. We were hoping to have a better regular season.
"But with what was available and what the athletic department and what the university wanted to do with the program as far as facilities resources and things like that, I really felt that we could become competitive on a regional level and to an extent, a national level, fairly quickly. But this is just fantastic for these kids. It was a rough, rough regular season in a lot, a lot of ways. So I would say this is really probably more than what we had expected to accomplish, especially this year.''
DEFENSE COMES UP BIG FOR THE HOOSIERS
Indiana coach Tracy Smith was really pleased with the way Indiana's defense played Saturday night. In the first two games of this tournament, in a total of 18 innings, IU has only had one error.
"Yeah, it's funny, as I was sitting here looking at the guys to my right, and they were all very deserving of being here. But I love the way Casey Rodrigue played defensively,'' Smith said. "I thought he was huge tonight, the athleticism he showed at second base.
"But any time you get to this point in the season, to me it's about the defense, and you know, much was made about our defense last year and having a little bit of an Achilles' heel, but because of the Rodrigue, because Ramos is playing very well right now, I thought that helped us get out of some innings. It's not like, as I'm looking at the stat sheet, that Joey or Jake overpowered guys with a bunch of strikeouts. They were putting balls in play and they were putting a lot of balls in play, hard. But we made the plays defensively and took the outs that they gave us. But yeah, I loved the way we played defense tonight.''
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