Former Greenbrier star Rich Poythress is coming off a breakout year in 2008.
The junior helped carry the University of Georgia to a national runner-up finish as a sophomore. The big man was second on the team with a .374 batting average, 15 homers and 75 RBI.
His work in the field did not go unnoticed. He was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team and became only the second UGA player to be named to the Rawlings Gold Glove Team.
Coming off a big summer in the Cape Cod League, expectations are high for Poythress this season. Despite losing three of their top four players, including two first-round draft picks, the Bulldogs were picked as the preseason SEC favorite by Baseball America . The publication also selected Poythress as a First Team Preseason All-American. He also will be one of the top prospects for the Major League Baseball draft in June.
UGA, which is ranked No. 14 in the country, opens the season Friday against Youngstown State. The Bull-dogs will begin a stretch of eight games in 10 days with a three-game series in Athens.
Poythress had a nagging wrist injury late last season, which shortened his stay in the Cape Cod League, but he appears to be healthy and ready to go.
Columbia County to Milledgeville
Columbia County has built a reputation for great baseball, and college coaches have taken notice. Georgia College and State University seems to keep a particularly close eye on the area.
Several county natives will suit up this season for the Bobcats. Former Greenbrier standout Brooks Robinson and Lakeside product Sean Harrell return, while another former Panther, Paul Bordon, joins the team after two solid seasons at Gordon Junior College.
Here is a breakdown of each player:
Brooks Robinson, Sr., 3B
Robinson is coming off a terrific season in 2008. He hit .319 with one homer and 35 RBI in 54 games for the Bobcats. He also stole 12 bases and was second on the team with 42 runs scored and 18 doubles. His production will be key to the Bobcats' success this season.
Sean Harrell, Jr., OF
Harrell started 30 games a year ago. He hit .373 with three homers and 26 RBI. He also stole 17 bases and had an impressive .465 on-base percentage. Harrell's most impressive stat was a .417 batting average in league games in the talent-laden Peach Belt Conference.
Paul Bordon, Jr., SS-2B
Bordon helped guide Gordon Junior College to a 40-17 mark in 2008. He hit .353 and led the team with 25 stolen bases. He has also earned a reputation for his terrific glove work in the infield.
Through eight games in 2009, Sean Harrell is leading the team with a .348 batting average, while Robinson is third at .273. Harrell has started all eight games and Robinson has started seven. Bordon has appeared in seven of eight games and made one start in 2009.
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