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Rain check: Columbus will have to wait to snap state drought after A-3 final vs. East suspended
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A-3 BASEBALL

Rain check: Columbus will have to wait to snap state drought after A-3 final vs. East suspended

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It's been nearly seven decades since Columbus has made the state baseball tournament — 1953, to be exact.

The Discoverers will need to wait a little longer as the A-3 district championship at Den Hertog Field was suspended because of inclement weather with Columbus leading No. 3 Lincoln East 6-4 in the top of the 10th inning.

The contest will resume Monday with Columbus batting and bases loaded with two outs.

"We've waited 68 years … to try and get a state bid in the spring season," Columbus head coach Jimmy Johnson said. "What's two more hours or two more days."

The Discoverers took the lead on a Trey Kobza groundout that scored Jarrett Bell. Columbus added a second run on a Colin Flyr RBI single.

East is set to make the state tournament with a comeback victory or via a wild-card spot.

"It didn't change anything with how we did," Johnson said. "We knew we wanted to compete like heck, regardless of what the final is when we finish it.

"We've really improved a lot, and this situation really validates that for our guys."

After Columbus knocked off Creighton Prep 7-6 in the semifinals, the Discoverers exploded for a 4-0 lead on the Spartans in the top of the 1st inning.

"Columbus kept the momentum rolling from Game 1," East head coach Mychal Lanik said. "They had some really good swings early. Our kids just stayed in the fight and kept competing."

The Spartans proved why they are one of the state's top teams with a three-run RBI triple from Brayan Van Meter in the bottom of the second to cut the deficit to 4-3, before Keegan Brink added a sacrifice-fly RBI to tie the game 4-4 in the bottom of the fourth.

"Brayan is a big-time leader for us," Lanik said. "He's a senior and came through with a really big hit. Gave our kids some life and we weren't out of it."

Ryan Clementi and Keinan Lentell added 9 1/3 innings of relief on the mound for East.

"They were huge. Going to the bullpen a little earlier than when we wanted to. Really tough and we made plays behind them," Lanik added.

Despite the game being suspended, East is still guaranteed a spot in state no matter what happens Monday, but that's no excuse for the Spartans.

"We are excited as a program to be back in the state tournament," Lanik said. "First time in the state tournament in nearly 10 years (2012), but we have a bunch of guys in our dugout that like to win. We are going to show up on Monday and try and win this thing."

Play is expected to resume Monday at 4:30 p.m. at Den Hertog Field.

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