WASHINGTON (WDVM) – The Catholic University baseball team will play in the division three college world series for the first time in program history on Friday.

“I knew probably around, you know, late March, early April, we had the elements to do this,” Catholic baseball head coach Ross Natoli said. “I think we have one of the top pitchers in all of division three baseball, it takes everybody to contribute and know what their role is, put it together and put yourself in a position like we’re in right now.”

The Cardinals are currently in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, preparing for the series. As the No. 8 seed, Catholic will face No. 1 Marietta at 11 a.m. on Friday.

“We had practice earlier today, getting to step on the field and just look around. It’s pretty surreal,” Catholic junior outfielder and Churchill graduate Ben Nardi said. “There are seven other teams here, it hit me a little bit today. It’s definitely going to hit me a lot harder tomorrow when we step on the field.”

The Catholic baseball team says this week’s accomplishment does not come as a surprise, is special right now and will make an impact going forward.

“This is about building the program and setting the stage for the next Catholic University baseball players,” Catholic junior first baseman Zach Burton said. “And just athletes in general to play for a winning program and a winning university.”