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NORTH LITTLE ROCK BASEBALL | Cats have bye to Friday; wait on Cabot-Rogers winner

No one could be in a better position than the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats.

Sitting atop the 7A going into the state tournament with a 23-4, 13-1 record, the Charging Wildcats don’t have to play in the 7A state tournament in Rogers until Friday against the Cabot-Rogers winner.

They only have to win games on Friday and Saturday to secure a date in Fayetteville for the state championship game.

Did head coach Randy Sandefur expect to be in this position?

“We expected to compete for a conference championship,” Sandefur said. “I don’t know if we expected to be where we are exactly.”

Sandefur said his team has competed in just about every type of game imaginable.

“We’ve had close games,” Sandefur said, “games where we said we should have gotten beat.”

Yet they survived in all but one, a game-one loss to Central in their final conference double header.

Sandefur said his team became less and less of a secret as the season matured.

“We get to midseason, and teams that come in here want to play better,” Sandefur said, “and all of a sudden, we’ve got a target on our back.”

Sandefur clear on what he thinks will propel his team to championship glory.

“I’d rather have great pitching as opposed to great hitting,” Sandefur said.

Then the Charging Wildcats are set with pitchers Preston Oberling and Dylan Howell the obvious starters for the first two games. If one of Sandefur’s stud starters does happen to falter, he has Spencer Byrd in the pen.

“If I had to use Spencer in any of those games, ” Sandefur said,” I would have no problem. He has pitched in some big games and bailed us out at times this year.”

The Charging Wildcats have been very business-like all season, and Sandefur doesn’t see that changing.

“We are going to do things the way we’ve done all season,” Sandefur said.

All they have done all season is win.

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