The Norris City-Omaha-Enfield Fighting Cardinal baseball team welcomed the Woodlawn Cardinals to town Saturday morning. Both sets of Cardinals were in hopes of claiming the IHSA Class 1A Regional Championship trophy and a berth into Sectional play.
NCOE appeared hungry when they quickly jumped out to the early 2-0 lead in the top half of the first inning but this lead diminished to one run following Woodlawn’s turn at the plate. Woodlawn would then hold the Fighting Cardinals scoreless in the top of the second inning and answer with another run in the bottom half to knot the game at 2-all. Another run on the top of the third inning would witness the Fighting Cardinals claiming the lead back but this would once again be short lived when Woodlawn erupted for three runs of their own in the bottom half of the third to claim the 5-3 advantage. The see saw action continued in the top of the fourth inning as the NCOE bats came alive and pushed two runs across the plate to tie the game once again. With the score standing at 5-5 both teams would pick up their defense and manage to hold each other scoreless in each of the others next three at bats. Unfortunately for the Fighting Cardinals, Woodlawn would strike in the bottom of the seventh inning when the NCOE defense would falter. This lapse would allow Woodlawn to push the winning run across the plate to claim the 6-5 victory over the Fighting Cardinals.
Lucas Browning and Jack Riggs led the NCOE offense with three hits a piece while Trey Simmons, Nathaniel Wilson, and Ty Lane each added one hit. Browning also topped the team with two RBI’s followed by one each from Wilson and Riggs. Those scoring runs for the Fighting Cardinals were Trey Simmons (2), Jack Riggs (2), and Lucas Browning (1).
Starting pitcher, Nathaniel Wilson, hurled the first two innings allowing two runs (one earned) on just two hits and striking out two. Wade Sauls relieved Wilson to fire the next six innings allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits and striking out two.
NCOE finished the year with an 11-7 overall record.