The La Crosse Loggers' road to the Northwoods League title will begin at home this year.
As the 15th season of play begins at Copeland Park, the Loggers will open the 2017 campaign with a 6-game homestand, starting Tuesday night against Duluth.
The team held two practices at the lumberyard on Monday in preparations for Opening Day.
After a 38-33 season in 2016, but only a 17-19 record in the first half, La Crosse is hoping for a faster start this season. Often times NWL clubs are still forming, and the lineups still changing, but the wins count the same as those that come in early August with playoff spots on the line.
"Sometimes we forget that games 1,2,3 and 4 and so on are just as important as games 68, 69, 70, 71," Loggers Field Manager Brian Lewis said. "It's big to get off to a good start. Last year we didn't do that, we didn't quite have a full roster right away. This year we do, we won't be playing any pitchers out of position on the infield or anything like that. We're excited to get out to a fast start and hopefully win some games early that will propel us down the stretch."
Temporary-contract pitcher Cody Ebert will take the ball for the first game of the season Tuesday, looking to make an early impression on Lewis' staff.
"Blessed. I really am. I don't go to a huge college like all these other guys," he said. "They're all really good. I just hope I can come out and give us a chance to win. Yeah, really excited. Should be a lot of fun."
First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. The Loggers will play 72 games over 77 days this summer.