Callaway, LaGrange to meet in preseason game

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 10, 2016

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – It’s time to play ball.

A new high-school baseball season is here, and local fans will get their first chance to take in a game when the Callaway Cavaliers host the LaGrange Grangers today at 5:30 p.m.

It’s a preaseason game, so look for Callaway coach Dusty Hubbard and LaGrange coach David Smart to get all of the position players and pitchers some time on the field.

Both teams will play their regular-season openers next week, with Callaway visiting Hardaway on Tuesday, and LaGrange hosting Spalding County on Feb. 18.

David Smart, LaGrange’s first-year head coach, said the game offers the team a chance “to get our cleats dirty, to try to find out where we’re at.”

Smart added that “we’ll try to script it how we’re going to go about our business, try to have certain situations where we have guys where they’ll be in that role during the season. That’s the plan.”

Before LaGrange plays its regular-season opener next week, it will take an overnight trip to Gordon College.

The team will arrive at Gordon College on Saturday, and it will spend the night and return home the following day.

“It’s like a little bonding type thing,” Smart said. “It gets the kids used to being on the road, and all that stuff like that. We’ll do some stuff to build some camaraderie.”

Smart inherits a team with plenty of experience, although most of the primary pitchers from last season have graduated, so the new pitchers will get some valuable time on the mound today.

Callaway, meanwhile, will be a vastly different team this season.

Many of the top players from last season’s team that won a region title and reached the quarterfinals of the state playoffs have moved on, including pitchers Cody Mimbs, Perry Keith and Kevin Craft, who are all playing college baseball.

“I’m excited for our kids this year,” Hubbard said. “We’ve got a lot of guys that have been behind good players. It’s their time to shine, and hopefully they’ll take the bull by the horns.”

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports