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Greenbrier shuts down Rebels for region title
Effingham will take No. 2 seed into state
Coach Brett Griffin and the Effingham County Rebels fell to the defending state champion Greenbrier Wolf Pack in the Region 3-AAAA baseball finals but still will open the state playoffs at home. - photo by File photo

Brandon Cumpton struck out 11 and the hard-throwing Greenbrier pitcher limited the Effingham County Rebels to two hits as the Wolf Pack claimed another Region 3-AAAA championship with a 3-1 win Friday.

With the win, Greenbrier claims the No. 1 seed from the region and will host Whitewater in the first round. Effingham, the No. 2 seed, is assured of at least one round at home and will play Woodward Academy. But Woodward’s graduation is this weekend, and a tentative start time of Friday at 4 p.m. may be changed.

Effingham led most of the way, but the Wolf Pack (21-4), winners of 18 straight games, scored twice in the fifth and added an insurance run in the sixth as they took their ninth region championship in 10 years.

“Being a good team, they take advantage of mistakes,” Rebels coach Brett Griffin said of Greenbrier.

The Rebels took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Compton balked in a run. Zach Dotson held the defending Class AAAA state champs scoreless until the fifth.

Dotson went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out one.

“Zach had a good performance on the mound and gave us an opportunity,” Griffin said. “Our kids did a good job of making plays and finding ways to make things happen.”

But Cumpton, the Greenbrier senior right-hander, was equal to the task.

Having a home game in the first round takes some of the sting out of Friday’s loss — there’s prom, the last day of school and graduation.

“It is a relief,” Griffin said. “There are a lot of distractions. It is a good thing we can stay at home, where we can take part in these things and still prepare for a home playoff game.”