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Diamond Devils host defending champ Greenbrier

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Posted: March 20, 2008 9:44 p.m.
Updated: April 4, 2008 5:00 a.m.
    There’s no question, the Greenbrier baseball club is the team to beat in Class AAAA.
    For the past two seasons, the Wolfpack have been crowned both state and region champions under head coach Rodney Holder.
    This year, they’re off to a 9-0 start and headed for Mill Creek Park and a date with Statesboro.
    “We can go back to the first state championship (in 2006) — that was a great team,” said SHS coach Chris Bishop. “I mean their No. 9 batter got drafted. Last year’s team was a little bit less potent offensively, but they still maintained two great pitchers. This year is kind of the same thing — offensive production isn’t as explosive but it seems like every year they kinda just adapt to what they do well.”
    The Blue Devils (3-6, 0-1 Region 3-AAAA) were thought by many to be contenders this year. So far, after a tough road schedule and 2/3s of their games coming on the road, SHS has yet to peek and has lost four of five coming into tonight’s big time matchup.
    “Conceivably, if things would have went our way here or there, we could be 7-1,” said Bishop. “I told the kids we’re working as hard as any team we’ve had work here. We have as much talent as any team we’ve had. None of our goals have been compromised to this point. We’re still in the same boat.”
    Despite the struggles, the Diamond Devils haven’t lost a game by more than six runs and have only failed to take a lead in just one contest.
    “On the worst game we played we still only gave up one earned run and only five hits,” said Bishop of Tuesday’s 6-0 loss to Evans. “In those situations we should be very competitive so that was kind of worrisome and it bothers the kids.”
    The Pack (1-0 Region 3-AAAA) have good wins over Heritage — the team they beat for the state title last year — Carrollton and South Effingham. After their travel to Statesboro they’ll head to Gwinnett County to face powerhouses Brookwood and Parkview.
    Crawford Simmons (1-0, 1.40 ERA) will get the ball for SHS while Nolan Belcher will climb the mound for GHS tonight.
    “It’s going to be a good baseball game,” said Bishop. “If I had a guess, you’re going to look at a 2-run game either way. If it’s any different I’ll be shocked.”

    Chad Bishop can be reached at (912) 489-9408.
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