NORMAL — The Illinois Central College baseball team will have to do it the hard if they want to make it to the national tournament.

The Cougars (23-21) lost to Danville Area 10-1 in seven innings in their opening game at the Region 24 baseball tournament at the Corn Crib on Thursday. ICC's long road back in the double-elimination tournament starts at 1 p.m. Friday when the Cougars face Spoon River in an elimination game.

Alex Christianson started for ICC and was tagged for 11 hits in six runs 3 2/3 innings. Braden Rossi finished off the fourth inning, then worked the fifth before Zach Wilcox entered and allowed Danville's last three runs.

Colin Dearing went 2-for-3 and knocked in ICC's only run. Beau Collier went 2-for-4 with a double and Alex Peters went 2-for-3 with a triple for ICC, which had eight hits but stranded nine runners on base.

Danville Area (24-25) will take second-seeded Parkland (43-13-1) in a winner's bracket game on Friday.