Hoppers to get a taste of the South:Bill Hass on Baseball

from Bill Hass with ‘Bill on Baseball’ at www.gsohoppers.com:

After playing 49 of their 53 games against teams in the Northern Division, the Hoppers finally get an extended look at some Southern Division opponents.

Greensboro takes its 38-15 record on the road for four games at Savannah and three at Augusta over the next eight days. Most members of the team have only heard about the heat and humidity in those cities but haven’t experienced it.

Savannah, of course, is where the 2011 Hoppers won the SAL championship, beating the Sand Gnats 7-3 in Game 5 of their series. The New York Mets farm club is in third place in the Southern Division with a 31-20 record, four games behind first-place Asheville.

Jose Fernandez will start for the Hoppers Thursday night, followed by Josh Hodges, Charlie Lowell and the Austin Brice/Jose Urena tandem.

It will be a chance for the Hoppers to measure themselves against another good team. Of course, as manager David Berg pointed out, that was the case against Hagerstown in the past week and they won four out of six. Greensboro now leads the Suns by 7 1/2 games with 17 games remaining in the first half.

By the way, it’s still a bit too early to think in terms of “magic numbers.” Let’s wait and see where things are at the end of the Savannah series.

Wednesday’s 5-3 win over the Suns, in front of a packed seating bowl full of second-graders that put new meaning to the word “shrill,” was a combination of scrappy pitching and some timely hits.

Why scrappy for the pitchers? Well, Adam Conley, Greg Nappo and Kevin Cravey combined for just one three-up, three-down inning. They stranded 10 runners during the course of the morning and afternoon.

“I guess you could say they limited the damage,” Berg said.

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