Greenbrier graduates Brandon Cumpton and Jeff Rowland are set to begin their second season of college baseball for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, and both should have plenty of confidence.
Cumpton and Rowland recently completed play in their respective summer leagues, and they certainly proved they belong among the players to watch in Atlanta this season.
Cumpton spent his summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League. While he was not one of his team's main starters in the regular season, he did come up big in the postseason. Cumpton played for the Cotuit Kettleers, who captured the regular-season title in their division after going 24-18.
In the Western Division Championship Series, Cumpton was given the start in the decisive third game, and he made the manager look like a genius. In five innings against Falmouth, he yielded only three hits and one run, striking out five. Cumpton earned the win, as Cotuit advanced to the Cape Cod Championship Series.
During the regular season, Cumpton made seven appearances, including three starts. He finished 2-1 with a 4.43 ERA and struck out 20 batters in 20.1 innings.
For Rowland, the summer also was extremely productive. He spent his summer playing in the Cal Ripken Summer League for the Youse's Maryland Orioles.
Youse's Orioles are one of the top summer teams each year, and 2008 was no different.
They blitzed the competition, establishing an all-time league record with 35 wins (35-7). They would also go on to capture a national summer league title.
Rowland was sensational. He finished fourth in the league in hitting, with a .331 average. He also had 27 walks, good for a .442 on-base percentage. In addition, he was second in the league with 27 stolen bases in 33 attempts.
As good as Rowland was at the plate, he was just as good in the field, as he played the entire summer without an error. Unfortunately, Rowland suffered a broken bone in his hand late in the summer, but the injury should not affect his season for the Jackets.
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