“Trusting the process” key for Dragons’ success

There’s no blaming the players who were named to the Dayton Dragons roster to open the minor-league baseball season this week for being giddy. That significant personal victory can only be topped by being promoted, and the sooner the better.

“You’re never as good as you think you are and you’re never as bad as you think you are,” said Dragons returning bench coach Kevin Mahar at a meet-the-team media luncheon this week. “It’s just trusting the process, showing up every day and doing your job.”

That, and impressing the parent club Cincinnati Reds’ brass, is the goal for each of these mostly newcomers.

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Weather permitting, the Dragons will have their home opener at Fifth Third Field at 7 p.m. Saturday against the visiting Bowling Green (Ky.) Hot Rods (Rays). Dayton’s season opener was a 5-4 loss at Bowling Green on Thursday. Outfielder Andy Sugilio had three hits, but the Dragons committed four errors and lost in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Bowling Green also was scheduled to host Dayton on Friday.

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Dayton will host Bowling Green at 2 p.m. Sunday. On Monday, last year’s No. 1 Reds’ draft choice (and No. 2 overall), Hunter Greene, is scheduled to make his pitching debut to begin a four-game series against the visiting Lake County Captains (Indians).

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Most, but not all, of the current Dragons were drafted by the Reds and have been promoted from rookie ball with the Billings (Mont.) Mustangs. Mahar, from Midland, Michigan, was a rare free agent signee who reached the majors for the 2007 season with the Rangers after excelling at Indiana University.

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That over-achieving, can-do work ethic is what he hopes the Dragons pick up on.

“It’s having a good attitude and good worth ethic,” he said. “That’s what I try to instill in them.”

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Dragons tales: Right-hander Tyler Mondile will be the starting pitcher for the Dragons on Saturday. The Woodbury (N.J.) native was chosen out of high school in the sixth round of the first-year player draft in 2016.

• There will be an abundance of pageantry prior to the start of the home opener: The W-PAFB Honor Guard will present the nation’s colors; the National Anthem will be sung by Yolanda Drake, winner of the Dayton Daily News national anthem contest; a dove release will follow the anthem; skydivers from Team Fastrax will descend upon the outfield.


Bowling Green at Dayton, 7 p.m.

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