Column: Hounds are ready for the ‘real’ season

Published 8:46 pm Monday, August 1, 2011

The Austin Greyhounds finished off their Section 2B schedule with a 3-2 win over the Rochester Royals on the road Saturday, but their work has just begun.

The win, which saw Nels Nelson go nine innings while allowing just four hits, two walks and one earned run, while striking out seven, guarantees the Greyhounds (22-9 overall, 7-1 Section 2B) will have homefield advantage this entire weekend when they host the Section 2B tournament.

That’s when the games count and that’s when the Hounds have to show that they can continue to play the solid type of baseball they’ve been playing for the past month.

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The table is set for Austin as it has a rotation with three outstanding pitchers in Joe Huffman (5-2, 2.30 ERA), Nelson (6-1, 2.33 ERA), and Zach Schara (2-0, 3 saves, 3.24 ERA).

The Hounds also have six starters hitting over .300 in their lineup as Andy Swank (.342., 12 steals) has been the ultimate lead-off hitter for the likes of Dan Swift (.383, 19 RBIs) and Matt Cano (.308, 21 RBIs).

The Hounds will have a tune-up game against the young and talented Southern Minny Redlegs on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Marcusen and then they begin the real season.

While dominating the regular season was nice, if the Blue Sox-Hounds merger is to be considered a success, the team will have to at least survive past this weekend.

The Hounds open tournament play Saturday at 8 p.m. in Marcusen Park.