HICKMAN, Neb. -- Since Norris won the state tournament in 2013, they have lost in five state championship games in 11 years. 

The Titans look to change things and win the tournament, as they are the top seed in Class B heading to Omaha. 

The team has made it to the state tournament for 13 straight seasons, which is the kind of expectation this program aims for. 

“That’s kind of the standard here that Norris has built,” said Kale Fountain, Senior Short Stop. “With the players and the work that we put in, especially the coaches, that’s kind of what we expect. Where we expect to be.”

Just because they are the top seed, doesn’t mean that it is a sure walk into the championship game.

“At this point in time, we’re playing for our lives,” said Sean Bartholomew, Head Coach. “I know it’s a double elimination tournament but you don’t want to fall in that losers bracket. The kids understand that. We aren’t going to take anybody lightly.”

The team is predominantly upperclassmen, with nine seniors, which gives the Titans the edge with experience. 

“We’ve got nine seniors this year which is the most we’ve had in a long time,” Bartholomew said. “It’s always good to have that experience but we just have to continue to play the game we play and compete on every pitch.”

Senior Kale Fountain will be taking his talents to LSU to play baseball in a few months, but he strives to keep his head where his feet are. 

“Remembering everything, especially this field. My teammates and coaches and what they have done for me. My classmates and teammates,” Fountain said. “It’s such a special community and I’m looking forward to hopefully having a really good state tournament  for this community.”

Junior Brodie Hoover was predominantly a junior varsity guy last season. But he has jumped up to play varsity and has become one of the hottest hitters on the team. 

“Our second game was Beatrice and my first AB, I got my first ever varsity hit,” said Hoover, a Second Baseman. “That kind of lit a fire in me and I feel like I’ve been confident the entire season. I don’t have any doubts.”

All in all, the Titans are excited to be heading back to Omaha again.

“The environment. State baseball, whether it’s Class C,B,A, you can’t beat it,” said Hoover.

Norris begins its tournament against Lincoln Northwest, Saturday at 9 a.m.