During the past two seasons, Rich Poythress and Brandon Cumpton spent their final campaign in prep baseball leading the Greenbrier Wolfpack to a Class AAAA state title.
In 2006, Poythress was the senior leader who was closing out a career that included being named to the All-County Team four times.
Cumpton finished his brilliant prep career June 1, when Greenbrier swept past Heritage to take the 2007 Class AAAA state championship. Cumpton was the Region 3-AAAA Player of the Year and won top pitcher honors in Columbia County.
Both players picked up some pretty special new honors last week.
Cumpton has been named a Louisville Slugger National High School All-American.
Thirty-two members of this year's All-American Team were taken in the first two rounds of the Major League Baseball Draft earlier this month. Cumpton was one of only six Georgia players to be named to the team.
He finished 2007 with an 11-1 record with 91 strikeouts in just 77 innings of work. During his final two high school seasons he posted an astonishing 25-2 record on the mound.
He was also outstanding at the plate for the 'Pack, hitting better than .360 with 69 RBI. He will fit in nicely at Georgia Tech.
Poythress did not surprise me when he earned a starting spot in the middle of the order for the University of Georgia as a freshman, despite missing the preseason with a knee injury.
Baseball fans in Columbia County have grown accustomed to great things from Poythress. He put together one of the finest prep careers in this, or any other, county in the South.
The 6-3, 240-pound first baseman belted 32 home runs and drove in 123 runs in his four years for the 'Pack. He is one of only two players to earn All-County honors for four consecutive seasons (Greenbrier's Bradley Key is the other).
Poythress did this despite being pitched around his entire senior season. He hit .282 with nine doubles, three home runs and 24 RBI in just 156 at bats as a freshman for the Bulldogs this spring.
Last week, Poythress was named the Hitter of the Week in the Coastal Plains League. The league features 15 teams from three states (South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia) and is one of the premier wooden bat college summer leagues in the country.
For the week Poythress was simply on fire. He hit .478 (11-for-23) with four doubles, a triple, a home run and nine RBI. He scored 10 runs, stole two bases in two attempts and had an on-base percentage of .556.
Poythress is playing for the Thomasville Hi-Toms. So far this season he seems to be stacking up pretty well against some solid competition. Here is a look at his 2007 stats through 14 games:
- .449 average (second in the league)
- Four home runs (second)
- 19 RBI (third)
- 11 walks (third)
- .541 on base percentage (first)
- .837 slugging percentage (first)
Former Evans star Mike Armstrong (Mercer) also is playing in the Coastal Plains League, with the Fayetteville Swampdogs. This is a great opportunity for both players to impress professional scouts.
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