Carlisle’s baseball Bison won the two they had to have last week to continue their season, and they are the fourth seed from the 2A-3 for this week’s Class 2A North Regional at East Poinsett County.
Ryan Johnson’s team (12-9 overall, 6-1 combined conference) will face Buffalo Island Central, first from the 2A-2, at 3 p.m. Thursday for the right to qualify for next week’s Class 2A State Tournament.
“They’re a good ball club,” Johnson said Monday. “From what I’ve heard, they’re picked to go pretty far in the state tournament. I know they’ve got a lot of upperclassmen. We’ll have to play pretty well if we want to take them down.”
That first-round winner will move to Friday’s 2:30 p.m. semifinal against the survivor of McCrory, second from the 3, and Sloan-Hendrix, third from the 2.
The top half of the bracket includes Des Arc, first from the 3, against EPC, fourth from the 2; and Salem, second from the 2, against Palestine-Wheatley, third from the 3.
The regional championship will be played at 2:30 p.m. Saturday with the third-place game before that at noon.
“We’ve got to get the first one,” Johnson said. “Get that one, then you’re in the state tournament, and anything can happen. Getting that first one’s the toughest.”
In the 2A-3 District Tournament last week, sixth-seeded Carlisle beat Brinkley, 18-4; and Cross County, 18-1, to qualify for the regional.
“We played two games Tuesday and scored 36 runs combined,” Johnson said. “We hit the ball really well that day. Unfortunately, we scored all our runs then and only scored two the rest of the tournament.”
In the semifinals, Carlisle fell to Des Arc, 6-1. In the third-place game, the Bison lost to Palestine-Wheatley, 2-1.
“Blake White threw against Cross County and threw extremely well,” Johnson said. “He got to the pitch limit for one day minimum rest and we wanted to try to save him for Des Arc. He ended up throwing against Des Arc, but we made some key errors that cost us. In that third-place game, Tristan Seidenschwarz pitched well. We lost 2-1 on a walk-off single.
“If we clean up some stuff, we’ll have a chance.”
It’s been several years since Carlisle made the state tournament.
“I couldn’t tell you how long,” Johnson said. “But the guys are excited and ready to play. I’m hoping it turns out well for us.”