After hosting a double-header against conference rival North Park on “Senior Day” on Sunday, April 26, the North Central Cardinals improved 23-12, on the season. The Cardinals traveled to North Park on April 27 to finish off the series. With a win, the Cardinals sit comfortably atop the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) standings – 14-4 against College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin competition.
Senior infielder, Vito DeRango, is excited as the post-season nears, saying the Cardinals are “looking to take the ‘one’ seed.” DeRango knows things are only going to get tougher in the post-season and expressed that while discussing Sunday’s double-header against North Park, “satisfied with two wins but would like to end things quicker.”
Both games came down to the very end, and the second game took ten innings. DeRango did not want to look too far ahead as there are still a few games left in the regular season, saying it’s important to take things “game-by-game.”
While this is his last season as a Crdincal, DeRango has had one goal in mind all season. “Winning a championship was the goal going into this season,” he said.
“None of us seniors have (won a championship) yet,” he said.
Looking on to the post-season, Augustana and Illinois-Wesleyan have proved themselves to be tough competition. The Cardinals have only one loss to Illinois-Wesleyan this season, losing 2-8, but the Cardinals responded by winning 8-1 and 9-1 when they hosted the Titans in a double-header.
Augustana was atop the CCIW standings last year heading into the post-season; but this year, Augustana is struggling to get in the top four seeds to participate in the CCIW tournament. Despite their 8-10 conference record, Augustana has a very formidable 23-13 overall record and has beaten the Cardinals twice in three meetings.
DeRango praises the Vikings’ “pitching experience” when considering them a tough matchup; but in the same breath, he says, “but we think we can beat them this year.”