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No team has enjoyed success at the Connie Mack World Series like the Midland Redskins.

The team out of Cincinnati is back for a 24th straight series and is looking for its 14th championship.

This year's Midland squad, like many in past years, is loaded with Division I recruits. Twenty are committed to or playing at the NCAA's top level.

The Redskins return three players off of a 2013 team that had an earlier-than-normal exit, being eliminated before the final four.

Midland manager Joe Hayden said this year, the Redskins are a stronger team, but he knows how difficult it is to advance no matter the talent his team has on the field.

"I think we're bringing a better team out there," Hayden said. "We have to play it one game at a time. The key with the fences and wind out there is to keep the ball on the ground, play good defense and take advantage of every situation. If you don't do that, you don't have a chance."

The team had little trouble advancing out of the East Central Regional. The Redskins shut out the Kentucky Bluechiefs 5-0 in the final and had a no-hitter from 6-foot-2-inch right-hander Zach Shannon in the tournament.

Hayden said if Midland can continue getting those types of performances on the mound, it'll be a difficult to team to knock out.

"We've been a pretty good offensive team and a heck of a team on defense. If the pitching holds up, we'll have a good chance," Hayden said.

Midland opens the series with the host Strike Zone, following the opening ceremonies on Friday in which two Redskins' legends — Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Larkin — will be inducted in the CMWS Hall of Fame.

"It's great for the boys to go out there and play at the very same park as Kenny Griffey and Barry Larkin," Hayden said. "You can't have put two better people in the Hall of Fame."

Hayden said even though he won't be making the trip to Farmington, he knows his team will be ready for the tournament and will enjoy the experience.

"We love the place, the atmosphere and the wonderful things they do for the team and our boys," he said.

Joshua Perry is the sports editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and jperry@daily-times.com. Follow him @jperrysuu on Twitter.