Southern League season starts for Suns Thursday

Birmingham comes to Bragan Field for a 5-game series starting Thursday.

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – New owner, new stadium improvements, new concessions, and a new season are all ready go for opening night for the Jacksonville Suns on Thursday.

Birmingham comes to Bragan Field to start a five-game series beginning at 7:05 PM Thursday.

Dave Berg returns as the Suns manager, where he went 57-81 in his first year in Jacksonville.  A handful of players return from last year's team, but Berg says that the mix of youth and vets is what he is excited about.

"We've got some older guys, some guys with big league experience and some young guys too.  Hopefully they will lean on the older guys and ask them questions and gain some experience from those guys."

Berg goes on to say that with the season as long as it is, a fast start is not necessarily vital to a championship run.  He was quick to remind us that they won four out of five to start the 2015 season, before running into a good Biloxi team that "brought us back to earth quickly," Berg said.  However, if you ask opening day starter Jake Esch if a fast start is crucial, he had a different answer.

"If you win a few games early, it can really help a clubhouse," Esch said.  "Everybody relaxes just a little and plays a bit easier.  It goes a long way."

To help celebrate opening day, Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles will be on hand to throw out the first pitch before the game.