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Byrd's Jonathan Fincher works a Rubik's Cube while talking about his baseball team. Jimmy Watson/The Times

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Being left-handed hasn’t always been a blessing for Byrd’s Jonathan Fincher, a flamethrower who will play collegiately for Louisiana Tech.

A fastball in the 90s from the left side is something that leaves an indelible mark on an opposition’s offensive statistics, and it’s allowed the senior to set the single-season (88) and career strikeout (197 and counting) mark for Byrd. But Jackets teammate Zavier Moore said one of his “favorite Fincher moments” came when the dynamic duo took geometry together as freshmen and began working on a project.

“We were supposed to cut popsicle sticks and we couldn’t do it how we needed to because it was Fincher’s job, and the scissors weren’t left-handed -- so they wouldn’t fit his hand properly,” Moore said. “The teacher cut us some slack and we ended up getting an ‘A.’”

Fincher has continued getting perfect marks in the classroom and he’ll leave Byrd with something around a 3.94 GPA and a 31 on the ACT.

“Finch remembers every single possible experience or something you tell him no matter how long ago it was,” said Moore, who will play baseball at Southern next season.

Byrd coach Greg Williams has enjoyed the benefits of having the 6-foot-3, 245-pound lefty in his lineup.

“Finch likes to claim he’s around 230,” Williams said laughing. “But he’s batting for us for the first time this season, after not hitting the past three years, and he leads the team in doubles. That tells you what kind of athlete he is.”

Master of the Rubik’s

Fincher arrived in the world 10 days early at 9 pounds, 8 ounces, according to his mother, Amy, who said he didn’t even wait on the doctor.

“He just barreled his way out making a grand entrance. That’s how he is—you always know when he enters a room,” Amy Fincher said.

 

"Finch and I always make the team decisions to eat at either a seafood buffet or an Asian buffet." -- Steele Netterville. See more from Netterville below.

 

A member of Byrd’s National Honor Society and the Key Club, Fincher is a talented artist, a credible cook and can solve a Rubik’s Cube in under three minutes.

“He used to carry one around and ask people to mix it up so he could solve it again,” Amy Fincher said. “In fact, he has about 20 different kinds of Rubik-like puzzles, cubes and spheres that he works. He makes it his mission to accomplish the impossible.”

Click here to read the rest of The Times article.