Georgia Tech visited Athens on Wednesday night to take on the eighth-ranked Georgia baseball team. The Jackets are no slouch themselves; Danny Hall's team is ranked 25th nationally.
The two squads were both ranked in the Top 15 when they met April 9 for the first of three match-ups. Georgia Tech won 9-4. They ensured series bragging rights for this season on Wednesday as they topped the Dogs 11-1.
Former Greenbrier stars Rich Poythress, Jeff Rowland and Brandon Cumpton were reunited. Poythress, a sophomore first baseman for UGA, is enjoying an All-SEC caliber season. The 6 foot 3 inch, 240-pound slugger has started all 47 games for the Dogs, and is second on the team in hitting (.341), home runs (10), RBI (45), slugging percentage (.570), and on base percentage (.450).
Also, Poythress has been outstanding defensively at first base, having made just two errors in 402 chances (a .995 fielding percentage). He has been a key reason why the Dogs have had such a great turnaround in 2008. Georgia was 23-33 last year, including a disappointing 11-19 record in the SEC. This season Poythress and company lead the SEC with a 17-6-1 record and are 31-16-1 overall, despite playing one of the toughest schedules in the country.
On Wednesday, Poythress doubled in Georgia's only run.
He will look to do more Tuesday night when the two teams conclude their season series with a prime-time match-up at Turner Field.
Georgia Tech has relied on numerous freshmen this season, including former Greenbrier standout Jeff Rowland.
The fleet-footed Rowland has been the team's starter in centerfield. He has not disappointed, batting a robust .354 (second on the team). He also has three homers, 19 RBI and leads the team with 21 stolen bases. Rowland was 1-5 at the plate on Wednesday.
A third former Wolfpack standout, freshman Brandon Cumpton, did not pitch Wednesday, but will likely be called on Tuesday night. The 6 foot 3 inch right-hander has appeared in 11 games, with five starts for the Jackets. Cumpton's ERA is a little higher than he would like at 6.20, but he is 2-0 this season with 35 strikeouts in 40.2 innings of work.
It is great to see these three Columbia County standouts having so much success so early in their college careers.
First pitch for Tuesday's match-up at Turner Field is slated for 7 p.m.
Wandless and Raborn earn All-Conference honors
Congratulations to former Evans High standout Ken Raborn and Greenbrier product Scott Wandless. Both earned All-Conference honors in the talent-laden Peach Belt Conference.
The duo has helped lead USC Aiken to another tremendous year. The Pacers finished the regular season at 43-13 and ranked 10th in the nation.
Wandless, a senior pitcher, is 8-1 with a 3.12 era and 104 strikeouts. He is in the top five in the conference in wins, strikeouts and ERA.
Raborn, a junior infielder, had a breakout season for the Pacers. Raborn hit .342 and was second on the team with 13 homers, 62 RBI, 49 walks and a .471 on base percentage.
In most years, Raborn would have been in the running for Conference Player of the Year. But his teammate Chad Jacobsen is enjoying possibly the finest season of any hitter in USC Aiken history. The PBAC Player of the Year led the conference with a .468 batting average and a school-record 20 home runs.
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