ALTAMONT, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As summer approaches, so does summer league baseball. The Albany Dutchmen begin their campaign in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League on Thursday.

There’s a lot of local flare on this year’s Dutchmen roster. There are 17 players from the Capital Region on the roster.

Two former star pitchers at Shaker, Siena’s Ryan Bates and Stony Brook’s Andrew Dongelwic, will take the bump for Dutchmen this season. “It feels nice, I get to stay home and stay close to family,” said Bates. “I was a starter all year at Siena and with how many innings I threw, I’m going to be out of the bullpen for the summer. It will be nice to get a different kind of experience on the mound.”

Dongelwic is also excited to pitch in front of friends and family. “It’s definitely good to be home,” said Dongelwic. “It’s good to play with a bunch of my boys again and get to have my family see some games this summer, because they didn’t get to come up to Stony Brook that much, but it’s good to be back.”

NJIT infielder and Troy graduate Austin Francis is another local player on this year’s Dutchmen roster. “It’s a blessing to be home and play for a great organization like the Dutchmen and just be around my friends and family again,” said Francis. “It was a long year at NJIT and I loved it, every single moment of it, but it’s definitely good to be playing wit friends and seeing family.”

It’s a new era for the Dutchmen. Schenectady graduate Jordan Bernacet is taking over as head coach for Nick Davey. “Shoutout to the legend Nick Davey, he was the coach for 13 years,” said Bernacet. “He set a really good culture and a really high level of standards and expectations. He was a really good mentor for me for this year. So kudos to him for setting the tone and allowing me to carry the torch with these guys. It’s been a fun experience so far, we’ve got a good little group so I’m excited for tomorrow.”

The Dutchmen start their season at the Amsterdam Mohawks at 6:35 on Thursday night.