Chalk up one more accomplishment for the Greenbrier High School baseball team this year - a Columbia County sweep.
The Wolfpack, ranked No. 1 in GHSA AAAA, played and beat the other three Columbia County schools (Evans, Lakeside and Harlem) twice this season. The final in-county win came on a 10-0 victory at Harlem on Monday.
"Anytime you play Harlem, Lakeside or Evans, it's more than just a game, it's a rivalry game," Greenbrier coach Ed Williams said. "It is something for the kids to be proud of, but we've got to be ready for the region tournament."
The win capped a season against Columbia County teams that saw only Lakeside come close to an upset. The Panthers took Greenbrier down to the wire March 24 in a 3-2 Wolfpack win at Lakeside.
Greenbrier avenged the near-loss three weeks later with a 16-2 win over the Panthers. The Wolfpack also took care of Evans in 11-1 and 10-4 wins this year. In its season opener, Greenbrier beat Harlem 10-0 and closed the sweep with Monday's win.
Greenbrier infielder Rich Poythress was the latest Wolfpack star. The senior hit two home runs against Harlem, including a second-inning grand slam. Poythress finished the day batting two-for-two with a walk and five RBIs.
Rafael Parks got the start on the mound for Greenbrier and gave up no runs on only two hits. The senior struck out eight Bulldogs in four innings of work.
"We needed to see that from Rafael," Williams said. "We need a third pitcher going into the region tournament."
The win improved the Wolfpack to 20-0 and moved them one step closer to an undefeated season. Poythress said the pressure of a perfect mark isn't unbearable, but it's building.
"It's hard to not think about it," he said. "We go out there every day knowing we haven't lost a game."
Although Harlem fell to Greenbrier on Monday, the Bulldogs entered the weekend atop the Region 3N-AAA standings by one game with a 5-1 subregion record.
The team's subregion loss to Cross Creek High School on April 14 adds more importance to a subregion rivalry game against Thomson High School on Thursday.
"That's going to be a big one for us," Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis said. "We need to go into that one and prove to them that last time was no fluke."
In their last meeting March 14, Harlem defeated Thomson with an eight-run final inning for a 12-10 win.
Evans took the first part of last week off and will finish the regular season against Harlem on Tuesday. The Knights (11-7) entered the weekend as winners of three of their past four games.
Lakeside did not play early in the week after Wednesday's scheduled game against Cross Creek was rained out. The Panthers will finish regular season play Wednesday at home against Burke County.
At Augusta Christian Schools, the Lions took a close loss against Ben Lippen on Monday by a score of 8-7, despite home runs from Tyler Bourdo and Brad Meister. The Lions entered the weekend with a 12-4 overall record and 4-2 region record.
Augusta Prep finished its regular season Tuesday with a 6-3 win over the CSRA Crusaders. Trey Minor picked up his second win of the season for the Cavaliers while Spencer Morgan hit three-for-four to improve Augusta Prep to 7-10 on the year.
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