Why watch a game this big at home? That was the sentiment all across Columbus, as fans turned out in droves to watch Northern take on Japan for the World Championship.
"I'm just proud," said Caitlyn Cardoso, who cheered on the team at Cook's Hot Dogs. "That's not something you expect to come out of your hometown, right down the street."
Some former Northern players even showed up to support their old team. Cal Collins watched the big game at the Sports Page.
"It's like me living it through them because when we played, we lost at district. For them to come that far, it means everything," Collins said.
Fans soon realized that this game was going to be a nail-biter. Japan held Northern scoreless until the bottom of the third, when Cody Walker ripped a two-run homer. The crowd at the Carmike 15 went wild, chanting "USA! USA!"
"Yeah, I think it's really cool," said Northern fan James Williams. "He kept his head down, on the ball, and he has a pretty quick bat, because I've played against him."
From there, all eyes were glued to Kyle Carter, in hopes that his pitching would help the Northern team secure the biggest win of their lives.
"I've heard 'Kyle Carter' for four years and how good of a baseball player he is, and he really has proven himself, and the whole team has," Lisa Blair said. "We're proud of all of them, definitely."
No one left their seats during the top of the sixth inning. Pandemonium broke loose when second baseman Josh Lester tagged the runner for the final out of the game. For one night, Columbus is the proudest city in the world.