The Arlington American Legion baseball team covered its bases literally and figuratively Tuesday during practice at the Washington County Fairgrounds.
The Post 71 Eagles stretched, played catch, ran around the bases, participated in field work and took some swings — all within the first hour of its workout session.
Before all that, though, the baseball team went over the new rules and guidelines they'll have to follow during the COVID-19 shortened season. After coach Ed Menking checked each player's temperature with a contactless, infrared thermometer, the players spaced out in a circle and listened to the details set by the state of Nebraska and its Legion baseball organization.
But, ultimately, Tuesday was more an Arlington baseball practice and less a rules meeting. Coaches got the Eagles back to work.
High school coach Tyler Stender introduced and setup most of the drills. In the spring, he said his team's defense gave him the most confidence going into the year.
“The core of our pitching is also returning, and we're expecting great things from them this year,” he said, while also noting the young talent on his team.
Braden Rump, Logan Kirk and Tanner Pittman were among the Senior Legion contributors on the mound last summer, but they're far from the only experienced Eagles who'll be back on the field when games are allowed again come June 18. Aiden Foreman, Cooper Hilgenkamp, Kirk Rangel, Zach Vanek and Sam Kubat also participated in Tuesday's practice, among others.
Last season, Post 71 finished with a 12-11 Senior record. They were 1-2 at the Class B Area 3 Tournament, but were working to improve on that finish as practice got underway this week.