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Pair of South Mississippi standouts sign pro baseball contracts

A pair of South Mississippi prep products have signed contracts with Major League Baseball organizations.

Mississippi State University baseball teammates Logan Tanner of George County High and Brad Cumbest of East Central High School both were recently selected in the annual MLB Amateur Draft, Tanner in the second round by the Cincinnati Reds and Cumbest as the No. 266 overall pick in the ninth round by the Colorado Rockies.

The duo each inked professional deals with their respective organizations this week.

Tanner and Cumbest each were key members of Mississippi State’s 2021 College World Series National Championship title.

Cumbest, in fact, was one of the top two-way threats on the field in recent history in Mississippi. For two seasons, mirroring his prep career, the strapping 6-foot-6, 235-pounder played for both the MSU football and baseball teams.

Two years ago, though, Cumbest decided to give up football and concentrate on just playing baseball, and that decision quickly paid dividends.

Cumbest enjoyed his most productive season in the Maroon and White this past season after posting a .302 batting average while starting all 56 games in the outfield. Cumbest ended the campaign with 12 doubles, 15 home runs and 39 runs batted in, while the Hurley native also successfully stole five bases in seven attempts.

In 2021, as a junior, Cumbest appeared in 49 games with 33 starts. He hit .306 with 37 hits, produced 21 RBIs and scored 23 runs while collecting nine doubles, two triples and slapping five home runs. Cumbest also drew nine walks and stole two bases.

During his short-lived sophomore season of 2020 due to the pandemic, Cumbest played in 11 games with six starts including three starts each in right field and left field. He homered against Alcorn State that season, while serving as a pinch hitter several times.

As a true freshman in 2019, Cumbest burst upon the scene playing in 33 games with eight starts including six starts at designated hitter and two in right field. He collected his first career RBI with a pinch-hit single against Youngstown State in the first weekend of action of his collegiate career. He made his first career start in the series finale against Auburn that season. He hit his first collegiate home run against South Carolina, and drove in the game-winning run against Alabama.

Cumbest spent his first two seasons on campus in Starkville as a tight end on the gridiron in addition to his diamond duties.

As a prep standout at ECHS, Cumbest excelled in both football and baseball. He guided the Hornets to the Class 4A state finals in football and to the South State finals in baseball. He also guided ECHS to a school-record 24 wins on the diamond as a senior. He earned four letters on the diamond and two on the gridiron. In football, he amassed 66 receptions for 1,359 yards and 15 touchdowns. He originally signed a football scholarship with MSU.

(*Pictured is Brad Cumbest in a photo provided by The MSU Athletic Department)

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Written by Curtis Rockwell

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