By Anthony Rhoads
This year, three former local high school players are working their way up through the Minor Leagues.
This season Stockbridge's Kyle Davies is with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Atlanta's Advanced single-A affiliate; Eagle's Landing's Matt Murton is with the Sarasota Red Sox, Boston's single-A affiliate and Jonesboro's Jason Perry is with the Midland RockHounds, Oakland's double-A affiliate.
As of Friday, Davies was 3-2 with a 3.40 ERA in eight starts. He ranks fifth in the Carolina League in strikeouts with 46 and he's allowed just 17 walks.
In his last start Thursday, he struck out eight while allowing one walk and four hits an seven innings of work as Myrtle Beach beat Wilmington 2-1.
Last year was with the Rome Braves and went 8-8. He posted a 2.89 ERA and was among South Atlantic League leaders in strikeouts with 148.
Davies graduated from Stockbridge in 2001 and was an early signee to Georgia Tech but in the summer of 2001, the Atlanta Braves drafted him in the fourth round of the Major League first-year amateur draft.
Davies was 21-3 in his junior and senior seasons at Stockbridge High School and helped lead the Tigers to the quarterfinals of the Class AAAAA state tournament.
Murton leads the Sarasota Red Sox in home runs with seven. He's compiled 21 RBIs and is batting .280.
n Murton, who played at Georgia Tech from 2001-03, was drafted by the Boston Red Sox last year.
Murton was part of the Yellow Jackets team that went to the NCAA College World Series in 2002.
At Eagle's Landing High School, Murton holds most of the team's batting records. In his senior season, he batted .551 with 11 home runs and 41 RBIs.
n Perry also played at Georgia Tech and was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2002. Mid-way through last year, he was traded to the Oakland A's.
Perry has seen limited action this year in Midland. In 22 games, he's batted .188.
At Jonesboro High School, Perry was the runner-up for the Class AAA state player of the year and was all-state as a senior. In his junior season, he batted. .493 with 11 home runs and 48 RBIs. As a senior, he batted .443 with nine home runs and 43 RBIs.
Columbus State advances to Division II quarterfinals: The Columbus State Cougars will play in the NCAA Division II final eight this weekend in Montgomery, Ala. Columbus State opens play Sunday against Kutztown at 1 p.m.Columbus State has two former Henry County High School players on its roster.
Clif Harrison is in his junior year after transferring from Middle Georgia College. Harrison is third on the team in batting with a .352 average. He's hit three home runs with 16 RBIs.
In 2002, he was on the Middle Georgia team that went to the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series.
Lane Hammond is in his freshman season but was injured when he was hit in the face with a pitch. In nine games, he batted .267.
His brother Ladd, a former Henry County High School standout, also played at Columbus State and was on the 2002 team that won the Division II national championship.