Former Greenbrier High School stars Rich Poythress and Brandon Cumpton might play in the big leagues one day, but for now they must continue to climb the minor league mountain.
Each have started the 2012 season at the Double-A level. Poythress, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound slugging first baseman is with the Jackson Generals, the Seattle Mariners’ Southern League affiliate in Jackson, Tenn., while the hard-throwing Cumpton is in the starting rotation for the Altoona Curve, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ affiliate in the Eastern League.
Poythress turned heads in Seattle’s organization when he hit .315 with 33 homers and a professional baseball-best 130 RBI in his first full season in 2010. His numbers dipped last season, but he still had a solid year, hitting .267 with 28 doubles, 11 home runs and 64 RBI. Poythress also cut down on his strikeouts, with just 82 in 450 at bats.
So far this season, Poythress is off to a slow start, hitting just .225. But he does have three doubles and five RBI in just 11 games.
Jackson currently is 7-4 and in first place in the division.
Cumpton also turned heads in his first full season in pro ball. He survived a rocky start to post terrific numbers. In a season split between Single-A West Virginia and High-A Bradenton, Cumpton managed to compile 10 wins versus just seven defeats with an ERA of 3.98. He also boasted a 3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, with 90 strikeouts and just 30 base on balls.
This season, Cumpton is 0-2 as a member of the Curve’s starting rotation. However, there is plenty to be happy about with Cumpton’s 2012 start. He leads the team with 11.1 innings of work. He also has six strikeouts and a 4.76 ERA. He got off to a poor start a year ago, but rallied to post some stellar numbers. I have a feeling he will do the same thing this year.
Faloughi big at G-Day
Former Evans High School football standout Reuben Faloughi participated in the University of Georgia’s Annual G-Day Game over the weekend. The former walk-on defensive end turned scholarship linebacker had just one tackle in the game – but it was the play of the day – and propelled his team to a 32-31 win in front of a record G-Day crowd of nearly 45,000 fans at Sanford Stadium.
On the play, Faloughi not only sacked quarterback Parker Welch for a 10-yard loss, but also dislodged the ball. Linebacker Ricky Lowe picked up the loose ball and rambled 62 yards for the game-winning score. Hopefully, Faloughi, who will be a redshirt junior this fall, will get more playing time this season for the Bulldogs.
Region playoffs begin
The regular season has wrapped up on the diamond, and now teams turn their attention to the region playoffs. Here is a breakdown of where each team stood as the regular season concluded.
Greenbrier (18-2): The Wolfpack won a 10-inning marathon with South Effingham 5-3 to finish the regular season 18-2. Greenbrier is certainly one of the teams to beat in Class AAAA. Greenbrier opens the region playoffs with Brunswick on Friday.
Evans (11-9): The Knights head into Friday’s region playoffs on a sour note with a pair of heartbreaking losses to close out the regular season. Evans dropped a one-run game to Cross Creek 8-7, then lost an 8-6 decision to Statesboro.
Lakeside (12-11): The Panthers bounced back from a stretch that saw the team lose seven of eight games with a pair of wins, but ended the year with another heartbreaking loss to Effingham County 5-4. They also play on Friday.
Harlem (15-6): Another solid year for the Dogs as they conclude the regular season 15-6 after a 15-0 shutout of Josey. Class AAA’s No. 8 team will square off with Hephzibah in the region playoffs. The series was set to get underway Tuesday.
Grovetown (12-9): The Warriors might be a sleeper in the 3-AAA Region playoffs. Mike Thomas’ crew is playing well to end the regular season. They lost a tough 2-1 decision to Thomson in their final game, but prior to that, they had built a five-game winning streak, including impressive wins over Harlem and Westside. They opened the region playoffs Tuesday against a very good Cross Creek team.