JOPLIN, Mo. – We’re just a couple of sleeps away from MINK League baseball at Joe Becker Stadium in Joplin.

The Joplin Outlaws will open their season Thursday at home against the Nevada Griffons.

This years squad features a mix of local and national talent, with players from as close as Joplin, and as far away as Hawaii. Players began reporting to Joplin on Sunday, and have been practicing the last couple of days in preparation for the the season.

First year manager Gonzalo Gonzalez said Tuesday the team is already working to build its chemistry for the season ahead.

“I think these guys have done a really good job to start off,” Gonzalez said. “For a lot of these guys it’s not their first rodeo, they’ve played summer ball and they’ve been all over the country. These guys are coming in with the mindset of coming in and working hard right away and understanding they’ve got to get to know each other. They’re doing a really good job.”

After finishing third place in the MINK League South last season, Gonzalez said the goal this season is to finish even higher.

“I think for us it’s to try to be first place in the (MINK League) South and do our best to put a good product on the field and hopefully win the whole thing.”

Outlaws infielder/pitcher Caden Bressler said opening the season at home is ideal for him and the team.

“It’s exciting. I think we’re going to have a really big crowd,” Bressler said. “I think that’s what’s going to make us play really good too. Lots of guys like to have the atmosphere and I think that’s why a lot of the guys came here because we have a really great crowd. Playing Nevada it’s going to be fun, good competition over there. I think this league is really good, I’ve heard a lot of good things about it and I’m very excited.”

First pitch from Joe Becker Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m. Thursday.