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America’s Pastime Starts Local

by Fred Berowski

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Diamond Dawgs Home Opener 6:35 Tonight- Vets Park, Little Falls

On the heels of three straight second place finishes, the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs kick off their 2015 Perfect Game League season at home tonight at Veteran’s Stadium in Little Falls, against the Adirondack Trail Blazers.

Tonight’s opener is a beginning of a long process that began last August, just after the 2014 season concluded, when the Diamond Dawgs staff got to work on recruiting players for the 2015 season. It is a long process that starts with contacting area college coaches, and looking at local talent. Team President Travis Heiser explains “Talking to the coaches is big. They know what we are looking for. Everyday guys. The best guys. We don’t want guys who sit the bench and don’t play. Even with opening night tonight, we are still looking at a few more key guys”.

Among the players on the already talented Diamond Dawgs roster are Little Falls native and Herkimer College pitcher Little-Falls-native-Lucas-GLucas Godlewski and Ilion native Tyler Brien, who is fresh off an NCAA Division III National Baseball Championship with SUNY Cortland.

This will be Godlewski’s second stint with the Dawgs. He pitched for the team last season and earned an All-Star selection in the Perfect Game League.  Godlweski’s size, strength and style bring a lot to the table for the club and as a returning pitcher, the staff looks to lean on him even more this year, in hopes of taking the division.

Tyler Brien will be pitching in the Perfect Game league for the first time this year and is praised by Diamond Dawgs ownership not only for what he brings to the table on the field, but also for his character off the field, something you cannot underestimate in today’s game.

One of the key reasons ownership focus on recruiting top local talent is for the community. Travis Heiser puts it simply “We want to get the best local kids to play for the Diamond Dawgs because of the area little league, JV and Varsity players. We want to show them the opportunity is there, for them to succeed and play at a high level, just like Lucas and Travis. We want them to know that if they continue to work, there is a chance they could play for the Diamond Dawgs too.”

The Dawgs look great on paper this year as they have the last three seasons, however now is the time for them to get over the hump. Games are not won on paper, and the Dawgs know that. They have put together a very talented roster and have a knowledgeable coaching staff. There is a feeling in the air in the Mohawk Valley that 2015 might very well be the year that they put it all together, get over the hump and win that elusive championship.

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