North Little Rock baseball had been cruising along all season long.

It didn’t take long for the state to notice and anoint them as arguably the top team in the state.

They mowed through their schedule, especially the 7A/6A-East going unbeaten until the final week of the regular season. Their only lapse was a double-header split with Little Rock Central.

They still finished as the 7A’s top seed and were poised to make a run in the state tournament. They didn’t have to play until the second round on Friday, and had their pitching rotation set.

They were in the proverbial catbird seat.

But the Rogers Mounties didn’t cooperate and stunned the Charging Wildcats 9-0.

While as devastating as the loss has to be for a group of players, coaches and fans, the Charging Wildcats have no reason to hang their heads.

The Charging Wildcat baseball team kept the momentum going that had been established by football and basketball that were on top of their respective sports all season long.

Brad Bolding’s football team were widely considered the state’s most talented football team while Johnny Rice’s basketball team didn’t lose a game inside the state of Arkansas and won the 7A state basketball championship.

Anthony Cantrell’s softball team will play Rogers in the 7A state softball title game this weekend.

Randy Sandefur was in line to carry on that tradition in what could be considered to be one of the best athletic years in the state’s history.

Make no mistake. The Charging Wildcats and Sandefur are moving forward and going to the next phase. Summer baseball tryouts are next week meaning the healing process has already begun.

Time to put the pain aside, and continue to play ball.