Ex-Sun Columbus gives Hawks helping hand

April 02, 2005|by DAN KAUFFMAN

When the Hagerstown Community College baseball team plays against the Hagerstown Suns on Tuesday, the Hawks will be armed by advice from a traitor - sort of.

Jason Columbus - a slugger who played for Hagerstown the last two seasons as part of the San Francisco Giants farm system - spent part of this winter working out with the Hawks.

"Columbus worked out with us in January and February, and he was great to have around," said HCC coach Scott Jennings. "He asked if we minded, and we said, 'No.' He gave some of our guys some pointers. ... It shows our guys what it takes to get to the next level."


Columbus batted .286 with 14 homers and 59 RBI in 103 games with the Suns last season. He brought his knowledge of hitting with him to HCC.

"He helped a lot with our hitting," said Hawks infielder Drew Counselman, who has been a steady offensive threat in the middle of HCC's lineup. "It's coming from a pro, so you know he knows what he's talking about. He gave us insight and tips, and showed us how it just gets tougher as you move up."

HCC's hitters were not the only ones who were rewarded by Columbus' presence.

"He even helped one of our pitchers," Jennings said. "He stood in against him and noticed he was tipping his curve ball. That really helped him."

It's unknown whether Columbus, 25, will get into coaching after his playing days are over. What is known is that many of the Hawks believe he has what it takes.

"He was such a good instructor," said first baseman Matt Tedrick, a North Hagerstown graduate. "It was great to have him help us and see what he's all about."

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