Columbus baseball finds success, riding three-game win streak to HAC Tournament
COLUMBUS, Neb. -- The Columbus Discoverers are riding a three-game win streak heading into the Heartland Athletic Conference tournament.
The team sits 4-6 on the season and is hoping to ride the wave of success to the diamond Tuesday.
Head Coach Jimmy Johnson said he knows that his team’s record does not reflect their play so far in their first 10 games.
“Those three wins this last week were really big for us,” Johnson said. “The players have played well this past season and our record is not a great indicator of how well we’ve played at times. We’ve competed and played some really close games early on in the season, just didn’t get the results.”
During the 2022 baseball season, Columbus had 16 batters finish the season with over a .270 average, an incredible accomplishment.
However, to start the 2023 season, the bats were a little cold which is something that surprised the coaching staff.
“We expected the hitting to be a little bit more of a strength,” Johnson said. “We’ve got a fair amount of at-bats from last year, carrying over into this year. We’ve got guys returning in those spots. Maybe it’s credited to a little bit of a slow start.”
Senior Jack Faust, a pitcher who also sees time in the infield and outfield, has noticed his team’s strength to start the season and keep them in games is defense.
“Sometimes, our bats don’t follow along with that,” Faust said. “We’re playing good defense and as long as pitchers are throwing strikes that it will help us be more successful when the bats start coming around.”
Coach Johnson said his team has been putting in a lot of hard work during their practices and games and sees the results paying off during the winning streak.
“They’re diving, they’re sliding,” Johnson said. “They get after it hard in practice and do the same in games. Win or lose, when you’re doing those types of things, I think they feel good and can be proud of themselves regardless of the outcome.”
But for the players, it’s not just all about the physical hard work.
They know that they need to be sharp mentally as well.
“Our mentality this last week has been a little bit better,” Faust said. “We’ve thought just 'win the week,' that was our motto going into the week. And we did, we went 3-1 this last week so we have to keep that mindset going.”
Columbus will take on the Fremont Tigers Tuesday afternoon in the HAC tournament.
They will then face the Hastings Tigers on Friday at 4:30 p.m., a game that will be carried live on News Channel Nebraska.