Columbus ready for another title run - WRBL

Columbus ready for another title run

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The Columbus Blue Devils are back where it seems like they are every year: the state baseball playoffs.

It's a different feel this year, as the team is much younger than last season, and according to head coach Bobby Howard, does not have quite the physical intimidation of season's past.

Columbus will host Lanier in the first round of the playoffs on Friday.

"We're just going to have to play our style," Howard said. "Just make sure we can play catch on defense, pitch well, get some timely hits and see what happens."

At the helm of this year's Blue Devil team is a group of seniors that has played this season with a chip on their collective shoulder.

"Everybody doubted all the seniors, saying we couldn't make it to this point," said senior pitcher/third baseman Tony Dalponte. "We basically used that as motivation, just to get here, striving for the playoffs, and basically tell everyone they're wrong."

Dalponte and the rest of the team is ready to play.

"Just excited," he said. "We've been working for this moment right here, so this is basically getting aggressive on the field, practicing, everything, so we're really looking forward to these playoffs now."

Howard, however, wants a more even keel.

"I just want to stay focused," Howard said. "Put the team first. We have a lot of academic distractions, but they have to make sure that they're disciplined enough to make sure when they come out here that baseball's first, and when they go to the classroom, the classroom's first."

First pitch for game one of Friday's doubleheader is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. ET.

Jonathan Huskey

Jonathan comes to News 3 from Fort Smith/Fayetteville, Ark., where he anchored weekends and reported during the week on some of the best high school sports in the state. More>>

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