UIC baseball bound for NCAA Louisville Regional

After capturing their sixth Horizon League Tournament title Saturday, the Flames will advance to the NCAA Louisville Regional in Louisville, Kentucky, which begins this week.

UIC (29-21) will open the tournament as the No. 4 seed against No. 1 Louisville (43-15), winners of the ACC’s Atlantic Division and the No. 7 overall seed, at 5 p.m. May 31. The game will air on ESPN3.

UIC’s game follows the first game of the regional between No. 2 Indiana (36-21) and No. 3 Illinois State (34-24), which begins at 1 p.m. The Hoosiers won the Big Ten’s regular season title, while the Redbirds were co-champions in the Missouri Valley Conference.

All-session tickets for the 2019 NCAA Regional in Louisville are currently available and can be purchased online, by phone (502-GO-CARDS) or in person at the Louisville Cardinals Ticket Office at Cardinal Stadium between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. All-session tickets for the four-team, double-elimination regional are $70 for reserved chairback seats and $55 for general admission berm seating.

Single-session tickets, including reserved chairback and general admission berm seating, will go on sale at 9 a.m. May 30 online at GoCards.com or at the Cardinal Stadium Ticket Office. Tickets will also be available at Jim Patterson Stadium starting at noon May 31.

The Flames have some familiarity with a few teams in its group. While the game against the host Cardinals on Friday will be the first meeting between UIC and Louisville, the Flames met third-seeded Illinois State twice in 2019. Illinois State won the first matchup, 4-0, in Normal on March 19. Less than one month later, the Flames got two home runs from senior Scott Ota to return the favor with a 6-1 triumph at Granderson Stadium on April 16.

In addition, Indiana is coached by former Wright State head coach and player Jeff Mercer. He served as the head coach at WSU during the 2017 and 2018 seasons and previously worked as an assistant coach for the Horizon League foe. Mercer was a two-time All-Horizon League honoree at Wright State and the 2009 Horizon League Player of the Year.

The winner of the NCAA Louisville Regional will take on the winner of the NCAA Greenville Regional, which is hosted by East Carolina, in the Super Regional round. That pod also includes No. 2 North Carolina State, No. 3 Campbell and No. 4 Quinnipiac.

The Flames will play in their second NCAA Regional in three seasons. UIC traveled to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in 2017, where it faced Southern Miss and Mississippi State. The Flames also played at Texas A&M in 2008, Long Beach State in 2007, Nebraska in 2005 and Stanford in 2003.