There will be a little bit of added incentive for Dartmouth Moosehead Dry’s competitors this season.

Usually, there’s not much drama in the Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League, with the Dry having won five straight championships and 13 of the past 17 titles.

But this year, if Dartmouth does the expected and wins again, the runner-up books a ticket to the 2009 Canadian senior baseball championship, which Dartmouth is hosting.

“Teams will be gunning to make the finals because they know it guarantees them a spot at nationals,” said Dry player-coach Darren Doucette, a nine-time home-run champ.

Not much has changed for Dartmouth this season, but it has added pitching depth with the return of Trevor Zwaan and the addition of Hammonds Plains native Craig Langille, a former Milwaukee Brewers draft pick and farmhand.

“You can never have enough pitching,” Doucette said. “Anytime you can add a quality arm, you do it.”

The season opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. with the Halifax Pelham Canadians visiting the Truro Bearcats. Dartmouth visits the Kentville Wildcats tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., then hosts the Bearcats on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Beazley Field.

Doucette said the Sydney Sooners may be Dartmouth’s biggest challenger, but admits his team is the favourite.

“You’d have to consider us the team to beat,” he said. “Defending champs and 13 championships in the past 17 years. I guess we’re what everybody guns for. Every team shows up to play us like it’s the seventh game of the World Series.”