Southern League mark tied by Colvin

Greenbrier product Rich Poythress made his Double-A debut and former Augusta State star Shannon Wilkerson returned to Augusta as a member of the Single-A Greenville Drive.


But no pro ball player from the Augusta area had a better start to August than former North August High School standout and current Tennessee Smokie Tyler Colvin .

The 23-year-old outfielder tied a Southern League record with 11 consecutive hits over a three-game span that ended last Sunday. After going 5 for 5 on July 31 and 3 for 3 the following day, Colvin recorded three hits in his first three at bats Aug. 2 to tie the league record.

"It is pretty amazing," Colvin told "You go up there and you hit balls hard and you hope they fall. To do it 11 times and they all found holes, that's pretty fun."

The former Clemson star and first-round draft pick was named the Southern League's Player of the Week for his efforts. He entered Saturday's play hitting .281 at the Double-A level with nine home runs and 29 RBI.

MOVING UP: Poythress has also made a quick impact at the Double-A level.

He completed his short stint at the rookie ball level last week and made the move to the Double-A West Tenn Diamond Jaxx in Jackson, Tenn. less than two weeks after signing with the Seattle Mariners.

Poythress, Seattle's second round pick this past June, has proven his worth so far. As a third baseman, he hit .300 (6 for 20) in six games in the Arizona League. He moved to the Diamond Jaxx's roster in time for Thursday's game and entered Saturday's play hitting .571 (4 for 7) with two RBI and two walks.

The Diamond Jaxx are in the same league and division as Colvin's Smokies. The clubs finished Friday's games tied for second place in the Southern League's North Division, two games behind first place Chattanooga.

Colvin and Poythress could square off against each other in the final series of the regular season when the Smokies travel to West Tenn for a five-game series Sept. 3-7.

ANOTHER DEBUT: Wilkerson, drafted by the Boston Red Sox after finishing his junior year at Augusta State this past spring, proved himself too good for the rookie ball level in the New York-Penn League and was promoted to the Single-A level with the Greenville Drive last week.

The Drive, in town at the time to play the Augusta GreenJackets, saw their newly acquired outfielder go 4 for 8 with a double and a stolen base in the series. In five games with Greenville, Wilkerson has a .350 average (7 for 20) with two doubles so far.

STILL PITCHING: Former GreenJackets Scott Barnes , traded to the Cleveland Indians in the days leading up to the July 31 trade deadline for big leaguer Ryan Garko , has made two minor league starts for his new club.

Playing for the Advanced-A Kinston Indians, Barnes gave up three earned runs on eight hits and two walks in five innings pitched in his Indians debut. But the 21-year-old starting pitcher recovered with a four-hit shutout over four innings in a Monday start at home.



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