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BOISE -- The Boise Hawks held their first practice of the 2014 season on Wednesday, along with a media day to introduce this year s squad to Boise. With their first game approaching on Friday, the Hawks are looking to get off on the right foot and have a successful year like in 2013, when they advanced to the Northwest League Championship Series.

The Hawks initial roster consists of 25 players, including 13 pitchers. As the players met their host families last night and become acclimated to Boise, they are all looking forward to getting their first series underway this weekend, and getting to work on the diamond.

It's been a long road. I'm just excited to be here, pitcher Josh Conway said. It's great to get out of Arizona and really help a team win. That's really what it's all about.

This upcoming series isn't the only exciting news the Hawks heard this week. On Wednesday morning, first round draft pick, Kyle Schwarber, signed with the Cubs and will start off his professional career in Boise, playing for the Hawks. Schwarber is known for his power at the plate and is listed as a catcher, but has the skills for multiple positions.

There was a lot of emotions going up and down, going from losing the regional on a walkoff homerun, to being picked fourth overall, then going to Chicago to do a physical, coming right out here, Schwarber said. I'm grateful for the opportunity, and I'm ready to get things going.

Boise manager Gary Van Tol was happy to get the news that he would have a first rounder to open the season, and said he looks forward to working with Schwarber.

It doesn't happen very often, but hey, we'll take him and get to work with him, Van Tol said. We look forward to the opportunity of seeing what he can do. Just make sure that he understands just go play right now and enjoy it. We'll just take baby steps and help him with the process.

The Hawks have also landed pitcher Josh Conway, who attended Coastal Carolina University. A fourth-round draft pick back in 2012, Conway is coming off of two different elbow surgeries, and will make his professional debut in Boise.

The Hawks home opener is set for this Friday, June 13, at Memorial Stadium, with the first pitch set for 7:15 p.m.

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