Illinois State finished the regular season 36-18 and 16-5 in the Valley.
The Redbirds have now won two MVC titles in four seasons.
A win Saturday will secure the first outright MVC title in Redbird baseball history.
The Redbirds went 4-1 last week, including a MVC series-win over Creighton.
Friday's win marked the ninth complete-game this season for ISU starters.
Redbird Baseball Vs. Cancer Day
WJBC Redbird Recap - Indiana State vs. ISU
Turf Renovation at Duffy Bass Field
Fall Report: Coach Mark Kingston
Illinois State vs. Illinois held on March 27, 2012.
In his first three seasons as a head coach, Mark Kingston led Illinois State to three major milestones, including a program-best 36 wins in 2011 and the Redbirds' first-ever Missouri Valley Conference regular-season championship in 2010. With 33 victories in 2012, the Redbirds have now amassed 30-plus win campaigns for a program-best three-consecutive seasons. Additionally, 16 Redbirds have earned all-MVC honors and four have been drafted under Kingston's leadership.
Illinois State's 33-19 record in 2012 was highlighted by a ten-game winning streak, a complete six-game sweep of the Russ Matt Central Florida Invitational and Kingston's 100th career victory as head coach. The winning streak matched the longest winning streak ISU baseball has had since 1984, and just one victory shy of the all-time win streak set in 1976. Kingston's 100th career victory came in opening round action of the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Championship when ISU defeated Evansville, 10-3, in Springfield, Mo. Closer Kenny Long was selected by the Houston Astros in the 22nd round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, marking three-consecutive seasons in which a Redbird was selected in the MLB draft.
During his second season at ISU, Kingston not only guided Illinois State to its highest single-season wins-total in school history, but he also coached seven players onto the 2011 All-MVC team. The Redbirds finished the season with a 36-18 record, a third-place MVC finish and a marquee victory at Miami, the school he was an assistant at when the Hurricanes won the 2001 College World Series.
The most successful first-year head coach in ISU baseball history, Kingston coached the 2010 Redbirds to their first-ever share of the MVC regular-season championship, their first State Farm MVC Tournament title since 1994 and their first NCAA Tournament game win since 1976.
The winner of the 2010 MVC Coach of the Year award, Kingston helped second baseman Kevin Tokarski become the first-ever Redbird to earn the MVC Joe Carter Player of the Year Award, the State Farm MVC Tournament Most Outstanding Player Award and three All-America selections. Also during Kingston's first season, six Redbirds were named All-MVC selections.
Upon winning the 2010 State Farm MVC Tournament, six Redbirds earned a spot on the all-tournament team and one ISU player was named to the NCAA all-regional team. Under the direction of Kingston, Illinois State amassed a 32-24 record in 2010, which was not only the most wins for the Redbirds since 1999, but also the most ever by a first-year head coach.
Kingston was named Illinois State's ninth head baseball coach on June 10, 2009 after serving the previous season as the team's associate head coach. Prior to returning to ISU, Kingston spent seven years as recruiting coordinator at Tulane University and served as an assistant on the Miami team that won the 2001 College World Series. He has coached at the collegiate level for 15 years, reaching 500 wins as an assistant in 2009, and was widely respected throughout the sport as one of the top assistants in the nation.
Kingston's successful coaching record, coupled with his incoming recruiting class, his vibrant personality and his knowledge of the game has energized the Illinois State baseball program. These elements, along with the recently renovated stadium at Duffy Bass Field, Illinois State's rich baseball history and position as a top-level institution, prompted Baseball America's Aaron Fitt to call Illinois State baseball a "perfect storm" when Kingston was first hired.
"This is a guy that I think would have been a fit at any of the top programs in the country looking for a head coach," Fitt said. "You can contend for a national title in the Missouri Valley Conference - and Wichita State has proven that. You need to have the right mix of a good coaching staff and quality facilities and it looks like Illinois State is going down the right road there."
Kingston spent five seasons as associate head coach for the Green Wave with the responsibility of building the Tulane team through recruiting, coaching Tulane hitters and developing catchers and infielders. At Tulane, Kingston's recruiting and coaching efforts helped the Green Wave to six postseason appearances, two NCAA Super Regionals and a berth in the College World Series. The 2005 Green Wave team was seeded as the top-team overall while also receiving the top-academic honor in Omaha. Tulane averaged nearly 42 wins per season with Kingston on staff.
Praised by many for his ability to transfer knowledge to his players and develop talent, Kingston also has a knack for finding and recruiting talented players. In six of his seven seasons as recruiting coordinator for the Green Wave, Kingston's classes ranked in the top-25 in the nation. Kingston signed eight of the nation's Top-100 prospects in 2003 and 2004, and the 2005 class was tabbed as the No. 4 class in the country by Baseball America.
Kingston recruited or coached seven players who became All-Americans at Tulane, including James Jurries (2002) and Michael Aubrey (2003). The Green Wave sluggers became the first hitters in 18 years to hit .400 for the season and both earned Conference USA Player of the Year recognition. Aubrey was selected by the Cleveland Indians 11th overall in 2003, the highest Tulane player ever taken in the Major League Draft.
Prior to joining the Green Wave staff, Kingston spent two years coaching at Miami (Fla.), where he helped the Hurricanes capture the 2001 College World Series as the No. 1 overall seed. While at Miami, the Hurricanes finished with top-five school single-season marks in batting average, runs scored and slugging percentage, and led the nation with 228 stolen bases in 2001. In the run to the 2001 national title, the `Canes had an NCAA-best 17-0 run to end the season and set a College World Series record with 12.3 runs per game while hitting .373 as a team in Omaha.
Under Kingston's tutelage, two Hurricanes players earned All-America honors, three earned Freshman All-America recognition, rookie Kevin Howard was named the 2000 Baseball America National Freshman of the Year and 18 players went on to sign professional contracts.
Kingston previously spent one year as an assistant with the Redbirds and helped put together one of the most impressive seasons in school history. The 1999 Redbirds set a school record for wins in a season (35), runs scored, RBI, doubles, hits and walks, while finishing second in school history in home runs, total bases and batting average.
Kingston got his start in coaching at Purdue. In two seasons, he worked his way into the top assistant position while helping the Boilermakers post three of the top-seven batting averages in school history. Kingston helped Purdue place five position players on the All-Big 10 Team after not posting any the year before his arrival.
The Northern Virginia native played professionally for five seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs organizations. Drafted by the Brewers out of North Carolina in 1992, Kingston spent one season with Milwaukee's rookie-level team before going on to play for Peoria (A), Daytona (Advanced A) and Orlando (AA) in the Cubs organization.
As a player at North Carolina, Kingston was part of the 1989 Tar Heels squad that won an Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title and advanced to the College World Series, and helped the team win the ACC Tournament and advance to NCAA Regionals in 1990 as a sophomore. Kingston received the Trippe Bourne "Most Dedicated Player" Award for his outstanding work ethic and leadership during his junior campaign, and was named a team captain his senior season.
Kingston attended Potomac High School, where he developed into a Collegiate Baseball Top-50 Prospect and was drafted by the New York Yankees after leading his team to the 1988 state championship. In 2006, Kingston was inducted into the Potomac Hall of Fame.
In all, Kingston owns a 68-42 record in two seasons as a head coach (.618) and a 500-279-2 (.640) record in 13 seasons as an assistant coach. Kingston has helped coach nine teams to NCAA Tournament berths, four teams that appeared in NCAA Super Regionals, and two that participated in the College World Series.
Kingston and his wife, the former Letitia Kelly, have three children, Kailyn Grace, Cameron James and Kathryn Patricia. He also wrote and produced two instructional videos for Championship Productions, "Keys to Consistent Hitting" and "Catching Drills and Fundamentals". He also was the only assistant coach chosen to write a chapter in "The Baseball Drill Book" produced by the American Baseball Coaches Association.