Knights ready for state championship showdown
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The Calvary Christian Knights have been here before. They’ve been here before a whole bunch, actually. It’s championship weekend for the GAPPS state baseball playoffs and they’re out to claim another big trophy.
The Knights have been having themselves some days. They go into the finals carrying a 16-game winning streak and playing the best baseball they’ve played all season long
“We are doing our thing,” said senior left fielder Bradley Smith. “Our offense is there, our pitching is there, our defense is there, so we’re ready.”
“16 straight wins is a lot of games,” senior third baseman Justin Brown said. “It’s really exciting. It’s going to help a lot – our momentum is really good right now. We feel like we’re clicking on all cylinders so we’re ready to go.”
They know about being ready. The seniors on this team were part of championship teams in 2018 and 2019 and were on their way to a possible three-peat in 2020 when the response to COVID resulted in the cancellation of the playoffs.
“It’s a huge help that we’ve done it all before and we’ve done it together,” said senior shortstop Jesse Donohoe. “Just the experience behind it helps because we know what we need to do to win and we know we can do it, so that’s obviously something in the back of our minds that helps us get through.”
“Not many schools get to go through and win one state championship, but to be able to do it and try getting three of them, that’s awesome,” Smith said.
Brown looks at this year as a make-good for last season. “Especially for the seniors last year missing out on this season, we’re going to be doing it for them, too. It’s going to be really fun.”
Fun, yes. Easy? No. They’re facing Lafayette Christian, a team that handed the Knights two of their five losses this season. But they see that as ancient history, with this weekend as a whole new ballgame.
“They’re a good team,” Donohoe said. “We know that coming in, but I feel like if we do what we’re supposed to do we feel like we can compete with anybody. We’re excited and we think if we do what we’ve practice and we execute what the coaches have planned for us, we’ll be successful.”
“We’re all pumped up,” said Brown. “We’re ready to go. We know what we’re playing for, we know the consequences going into this game, so we’re just ready to go. I think we’re in a good state of mind right now.”
The state finals doubleheader is slated to start at 1 pm ET on Friday at Hale Field in Columbus. Game three if necessary would get underway on Saturday at Noon ET.
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