COLUMBUS — Michael Curl has known exactly what he’s wanted to do since he was a little kid.
The Columbus senior has proven to be an ace on the mound for the Cougars in the early stages of the high school baseball season, but he’s just getting his career off the ground as he’ll pitch collegiately at Mayville State in North Dakota.
“Second grade I really started getting into it. That's when I really started getting into that pitching thing," Curl told MTN Sports. "I kind of had success early because I was just bigger than most people, so I kind of fell in love with it. Ever since then I've just been trying to work on my craft."
Luckily for Curl, he didn’t have to make the hard decision of playing for the local 406 Flyers traveling team or his high school due to the fact the Flyers didn’t have enough kids for an 18U team this year.
His years with the Flyers are paying off now, though, especially the time he spent with current University of Alabama pitcher Brock Blatter.
“He really did teach me a lot, I'm not going to lie," Curl said. "He taught me how to use bands and heavy balls, especially, keep your arm healthy. Just the way he pitched, his mentality and everything, just watching him play and being on the same field as him teaches you a lot."
Keeping his arm healthy and strong is obviously critical, but he’s got the stuff to mow down opposing lineups. Curl has a five-pitch repertoire featuring both a 2- and 4-seam fastball, slider, curveball and a changeup, which he introduced this season.
We speak highly of Curl’s talent on the mound, but he instills some fear when he steps inside the batter's box, too.
“I can tell you he's hitting. He's our cleanup hitter right now and he's had a great season to begin with," head coach Travis West said. "He's brought a lot of power batting and then playing first base, he's been a rock for us there."
The Cougars are 1-1 so far this season after splitting with Sidney and Hamilton, but when Curl is on the bump, they can hang with anyone.