Harlem High School is putting together another solid season on the diamond. The team recently had its six-game winning streak snapped by Cross Creek. Before that loss, Harlem had won 11 of its past 12 games.
Overall, Jimmie Lewis' squad is 12-4, but keep in mind that two of the Bulldogs' losses came to AAAA power Greenbrier. In their other 14 games, they are 12-2, with two wins against Evans (AAAA), two wins against Lakeside (AAAA) and a recent 5-3 victory against eighth-ranked Thomson.
Also, the Bulldogs have been putting up runs at an incredible pace. In its 12 wins, Harlem is averaging 11 runs per game, including a pair of 21-run bursts in mid-March. During recent seasons, Harlem has had a difficult time getting past the first round of the state tournament. This spring the Bulldogs could be primed for a deeper run.
Rowland keeps rolling
I keep waiting for Georgia Tech freshman Jeff Rowland to hit the proverbial wall. The former Greenbrier High star got his college career off to a terrific start and hasn't let up.
I did not expect him to struggle, because he is not just talented, he is extremely talented. However, for an 18-year-old to step in for a nationally ranked team in one of college baseball's premier conferences and play at the level Rowland has played, well, it just does not happen often.
Rowland leads Georgia Tech with a .364 batting average. The Jackets' starting center fielder also leads the squad with 12 stolen bases in 14 attempts. He has two homers, 12 RBI and has committed just two errors in 64 chances in center.
Rowland doubled in Wednesday night's 5-4 win over East Tennessee State. His former Greenbrier teammate, Brandon Cumpton, was on the mound for the Jackets that game. The 6-foot-3 right-hander worked 6w strong innings to earn his second win of the season. Cumpton scattered seven hits and allowed just three runs.
For the season, Cumpton is 2-0 in five starts. He also has struck out 32 batters in just 30.2 innings. The duo is a key reason why Georgia Tech is 24-5 and ranked No. 14 in the nation.
Poythress powers UGA past Clemson
Rich Poythress has continued to keep pitchers scratching their heads this season. The 6-foot-4, 238-pound sophomore first baseman is enjoying a tremendous season in Athens.
In recent mid-week games with perennial power Clemson, Poythress helped lead the Dogs to a pair of wins, improving their record to 17-10.
First, he went 2-for-5 with a homer, a double and three RBI in Tuesday's 11-3 win. He followed with a two-run blast in Georgia's 6-4 victory on Wednesday night.
Poythress is among the SEC's best hitters with a .374 average. He also has eight doubles, seven homers and 27 RBI. He boasts a .461 on-base percentage and has even swiped three of four attempts on the base paths.
Perhaps more important has been his affect on Georgia shortstop Gordon Beckham.
With Poythress batting in the cleanup spot right behind Beckham, opposing pitchers have been forced to give Beckham pitches to hit.
The result has been Beckham enjoying perhaps the finest year of any hitter in college baseball. Beckham is hitting .435 with 15 homers and 36 RBI on the season.
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