OGDEN -- Scott Barlow is looking forward to pitching in front of a crowd again.
The 6-foot-4 right-hander from Burbank, Calif., will be tonight's opening day starter for the Ogden Raptors in Grand Junction, completing his recovery from Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss all of the 2012 season.
He last pitched in front of a crowd at Golden Valley High School in 2011 before being selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the sixth round of that year's draft.
"My adrenaline is going to be pumped up for sure," Barlow said. "Pitching in front of fans for the first time and also getting to play with an awesome team, I'll be really excited for that."
The Raptors start their season tonight at 7 p.m. at Sam Suplizio Field against the Grand Junction Rockies.
When they return to Lindquist Field on Saturday night at 7 p.m. for their home opener, they'll be celebrating the start of their 20th season in Ogden. Fifth-year Ogden manager Damon Berryhill has taken the Raptors to the Pioneer League championship series in three consecutive seasons.
Francisco Villa is slated to start for the Raptors on Friday in Grand Junction and Jonathan Martinez will get the nod for Ogden's home opener on Saturday.
The past season was a lost year for Barlow, but it wasn't a complete loss.
"You get to rehab and you get to build your arm up stronger," he said. "I felt like that was a plus and also I could talk to coaches and get more of the mental side of the game. I enjoyed that, but the whole (thing) about not being able to play kind of stinks."
Barlow's goals for his own development are simple.
"It's my first season playing since I got hurt," he said, "so my goal is to go out there and put our team in the best position and just throw as many strikes as I can -- just get outs."
Berryhill keeps his opening day comments to the team simple as well.
"Before our first game, I don't say anything except "Go get 'em," Berryhill said.
His speech the first day the players arrived in Ogden was a little more expansive.
"It's basically, hey, we're here to get better, we're here to learn and we're also here to try and win a championship," he said. "In all the pre-game stuff, we work on technique, we work on fundamentals, stuff like that; when game time comes, we compete to win a ballgame."
Despite four trips to the finals and 11 playoff appearances, the Raptors are still hunting for their first league title since bringing professional baseball back to Ogden in 1994.
All that history is irrelevant to a new group of players looking to advance their professional careers toward the major leagues, though Berryhill, the longest-tenured skipper in Raptors' history, wouldn't mind getting a championship. However, his other priorities have to take precedence.
"It's always nice to win (a championship), but is it on my mind foremost? No," he said. "My job is to develop players and to get these guys better and to move on."
Getting to the Pioneer League title series three straight seasons is an indicator he's gotten his teams to compete.
"That's all I ask of them in the opening day meeting, No. 1, just play your butts off. Play hard," Berryhill said. "I can live with physical mistakes. We'll clean up mental mistakes as we go. It's just one of those things you see every year and fortunately, we've been able to have some pretty good clubs."
Barlow was unaware of the Raptors' three recent trips to the Pioneer League championship series.
"Hopefully we can keep the streak going of getting to the playoffs and hopefully break the dry spell of winning championships," he said.