By Jonathan Louie and Seth Cooper
Under new ownership the Glens Falls Dragons (15-13) had high hopes this season. However, the Dragons started the season looking sub-par at best. The team struggled both offensively and defensively committing errors on simple routine plays. The struggles for the Dragons did not stop there. Injuries seemed to plague the team as they lost four out of five to start the season, and did not win a game at home until June 11.
Coach Johnston Hobbs and staff recognized the issues quickly and turned the team around in late June. Offensively, the Dragons have been fueled by Mark Powell (Bucknell), Oscar Rodriguez (St. Thomas Univeristy), and Jake Vieth (Tacoma CC). Vieth, one of the league leaders in RBIs, and Powell, a top ten leader in batting percentage, have been the driving force for the Dragons from day one. Glens Falls also received help from new comers Brennan Price (Felician College) and Bryce Aldridge (Indianapolis) who are currently hitting a combined average of .750. Speed on the bases has been excellent as runners like Danny Oliveri (Triton College) and David Sarmiento (Post U) steal bases at will.
Defensively, pitching coach Colter Bostick (St. Mary's U) seems to have gained control of the teams pitching staff. In the early stages of the season the team seemed to struggle to throw strikes. This has not been the case since June 17, which was the start of the team winning eight out of the next nine games. Alex Yarem (Campbell) has been the strength behind the team's new and improved pitching staff, which has earned a boost from Tyler Ehlers (Colorado Mesa University) and Cameron Churchill (Nova Southeaster). In the field, the Dragons have been anchored by center fielder Oscar Rodriguez and middle infielder Mark Powell, who have been consistent on a nightly basis. Glens Falls is also strong behind the plate with a familiar face, Rich Gugliemi (Saginaw Valley State). Despite the fact that he started with an injury early on, Gugliemi has thrown out several opposing runners this season.
Hobbs accredits the team's recent success to an increase in effort put forth by everyone. According to infielder Colby Stratten (Indiana), part of the increased effort can be attributed to the fans, "...it means a lot to the fans who support us and always love to come out and watch us play." Since the 17th of June the Dragons drew a crowd of over 600 people each night. Overall, the team looks to be one of the PGCBL's powerhouse teams in the first half of the season with a pair of notable wins over the 2014 defending Champions, the Amsterdam Mohawks.
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