It looks like we have seen the last of Rich Poythress in a Georgia Bulldog uniform.
The first baseman just concluded his junior season in Athens, and since he will almost certainly be a high pick in the upcoming baseball draft, it is unlikely he will be back for his senior season.
Poythress has no doubt left his mark on the Bulldog program. He has arguably had the finest offensive career in Georgia history. This season he finished with a .379 batting average, 25 homers and a school-record 86 RBI. His RBI mark shattered the previous Bulldog high by nine.
The accolades are almost too many to name: Golden Spikes Award finalist, Dick Howser Award finalist, 2008 Rawlings Gold Glove Winner, 2009 Pre-Season All-American, Baseball America mid-season All-American, first team All-SEC, 2009 SEC Top Defensive first baseman, Cape Cod League All-Star Selection, etc.
He opened the postseason with a bang. In UGA's 24-8 win over Ohio State on Friday, Poythress had a monster game. He was 4-for-4 with two walks, a double, three homers and 7 RBI. He followed that up with a two-run blast against Florida State in a 5-2 loss. He was 0-for-2 with a pair of walks in the Dawg's season-ending 13-6 loss to Ohio State.
Congrats to Rich on a terrific career with the Dawgs, and hopefully a very early call in the draft next week.
Jeff Rowland and Brandon Cumpton sparked Tech
Jeff Rowland and Brandon Cumpton, two former Greenbrier standouts, each play key roles for Georgia Tech.
Rowland, the center fielder and leadoff man for Danny Hall's Yellow Jackets squad, opened the regional with a 2-for-4 game that included a walk and two stolen bases. He helped lead the Jackets to a 9-3 win over Georgia State. He added two more hits in a 2-for-5 performance, with a RBI and two runs scored, as Southern Miss topped Georgia Tech 10-7.
Rowland went only 1-for-9 in the last two games of the regional, but each were Tech wins. Tech lost 12-8 to Southern Miss on Monday to end its run in the playoffs.
For the season Rowland hit .343 with eight homers and 20 stolen bases.
Cumpton got the start in the second game of the regional. Unfortunately the result was just his second loss of the season. The loss dropped his record to 4-2.
Nolan Belcher honored
Nolan Belcher was outstanding for the University of South Carolina during the second half of the season, so much so that he was named to the All-SEC Freshman Team last month.
Belcher's appearance in South Carolina's regional in Greenville, N.C., however, was not a highlight he will treasure. He took the loss as the Gamecocks were beaten by East Carolina 8-6. Belcher worked 6 1/3 innings. The Gamecocks lost to East Carolina again on Monday, also losing the region title.
Machovec headed to NCAA Championships again
Former Augusta Christian standout Israel Machovec has turned in another great performance for the University of Georgia track and field team. The squad just wrapped up the NCAA East regionals and Machovec, a junior, was one of a handful of UGA athletes who stood out in the event.
He threw the discus 176.8 on his fourth throw to earn a third-place finish in the event and seal up a spot in the NCAA Championships for a second consecutive season.
Machovec, who owns the fourth-longest discus throw in school history, will now prepare for the NCAA Championships set for June 10-13 in Fayetteville, Ark. In addition to his third-place finish at the east regionals, Machovec also posted a fifth-place finish in the SEC championships this season with a throw of 173.3.
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