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The South Troy Dodgers are making back-to-back Connie Mack World Series appearances for the first time.

The Dodgers have been the most consistent North Atlantic Region team since 2000, qualifying for the tournament seven times. But head coach Kevin Rogers said a lot of his players came into this summer ready to make a return trip to Farmington.

"I think the six returning kids kept pushing our team and telling the others just how hard it was to get there," Rogers said.

South Troy's six returning players are the most of any squad in the tournament.

They'll be looking for redemption this year after the Dodgers were eliminated quickly last year with losses in their first two games.

"We'd like to get down there and play well," Rogers said. "We know the competition will be tough, but we're hoping the ball bounces our way."

Pitching has been South Troy's strength this summer. The Dodgers threw four straight shutouts in the regional, winning two games 1-0 and a third 2-0.

The only runs allowed by the Dodgers came during the first inning of the final against Ontario. South Troy gave up two runs in the top of the first, before two straight days of rain washed out the championship.

South Troy was declared the winner since it was the only undefeated team in the tournament and had beaten Ontario 1-0 a couple days earlier.

"We've been in a lot of close games. At times, we've struggled with the bats," Rogers said. "It's been a grind most of the summer. We're a hard-working crew."

South Troy will play D-BAT Leach in its opener at 5:15 p.m. Saturday.

Rogers hasn't seen this particular D-BAT team, but he knows the organization well and has seen its teams for years at the American Qualifier his team hosts.

"D-BAT is a great organization. We know what we're up against. Every team is great, and we're looking forward to it," 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.