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Baseball takes center stage this week in sports
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Now that the high school baseball season has drawn to a close, it’s only fitting that summer baseball is about to kick into high gear. Two area summer baseball teams – the Gainesville Travelers and Gainesville A’s — both open the season with games this week.

The Gainesville A’s begin play Tuesday with a game at Dawsonville, followed by a home game against Alpharetta Wednesday and a trip to Rockdale on Friday. The A’s play host to Duluth in a double header Saturday.

The Gainesville Travelers also start their season this week with road games at the Athens Pirates on Wednesday and then against the Windward Braves on Friday in Cumming.

The Travelers roster is comprised of former area high school players, including 2008 Times Player of the Year Patrick Henry, now playing at Valdosta State, Gainesville High grads Justin Fordham (South Georgia College) and Zach Bennett (North Georgia College & State University) and West Hall High grad Luis Delgado.

Other players on the roster for the Travelers include, East Hall grad Ken Wise (Gordon College), North Hall grad Josh Wright (Truett-McConnell), Flowery Branch grads Justin Pagano (Georgia Perimeter) and Matthew Kerul (Marshall), and Gainesville High graduate Blaine Martin (Reinhardt College).

The Gwinnett Braves will spend the majority of the week playing games in New York. The G-Braves (29-22) have games at Syracuse Monday-Wednesday, followed by a three-game set at Rochester. Gwinnett’s next home stand opens with a game against the Columbus Clippers on Saturday at Gwinnett Stadium.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves return home for a three-game home stand against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. Kenshin Kawakami is scheduled to pitch for Atlanta on Tuesday against Chicago’s Randy Wells. On Wednesday, Derek Lowe will get the ball for the Braves against Chicago’s Ted Lilly. Jair Jurrjens is scheduled to pitch for Atlanta in the final game of the series scheduled for Thursday.

The Stanley Cup finals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings is also underway. Game 3 is scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday with Game 4 at 8 p.m. Thursday at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. Game 5, if necessary, is at 7 p.m. Saturday in Detroit.

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