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Pope Baseball Faces Loganville

They Greyhounds travel to Gwinnett today in the state quarterfinals as pro scouts take a look at star pitcher Duane Underwood.

Pope Baseball Faces Loganville

Another season, another strong run for the baseball team.

For the second year in a row, the Greyhounds have reached the Georgia Class AAAA quarterfinals. In 2011, they were eliminated at home against Whitewater. 

Today they'll try to advance on the road when they face Loganville at 4:30 p.m.

Pope, which is 24-7, has developed a knack for getting things done in the clutch this season. As coach Jeff Rowland told The Marietta Daily Journal

“We’ve been in five playoff games and four have come to the last pitch. They realized they have to stay focused for seven innings where anything can happen. We’ve come out on good end of those games and are playing pretty well right now.”

While Ben Levine was Pope's pitching star in the rubber match of last week's second round series against Northgate, senior pitcher Duane Underwood is getting a closer look from Major League Baseball scouts with next month's draft approaching. 

Underwood, a 6-foot-3 righthander who signed with Georgia last fall, has been projected to be a high pick with a fastball consistently clocked in the high 90s. He is rated as the No. 65 prospect by the Perfect Game Scouting Bureau.

Underwood started in Pope's first round series against Dunwoody but faltered, prompting some scouts to wonder about his consistency. 

"He does well when there's no adversity," an American League scout told Baseball America. "But if guys get on base, if there's an error or a bloop, before you know it the wheels fall off.

"He's a good kid, and it's a real good arm, fast hands—all the things you look for. I think right now, it's too much to see him going in the first round or even the comp round."

The future of Pope baseball is also getting some attention this week. The Pope Jr. Baseball organization is holding at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the cafeteria at the high school, located at 3001 Hembree Road. 

Program director & 14U head coach Alan NeSmith will be giving an overview of the feeder baseball program and answering questions.

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