Most of the players practicing on Monday, June 15 at Dartt's Park in Owatonna are making their second effort at playing baseball this year. They would have had one week of arm conditioning drills back in mid-March completed when the coronavirus pandemic. It has been a waiting game since then. Recently the governor's office cleared the way for team sports to begin practice.

Owatonna High School baseball coach Tate Cummins is hopeful that teams will get to play game this summer. When it comes to players of American Legion age, he says there's been communication around southern Minnesota to get some games going with teams from Big Nine towns, if the go-ahead comes.

The "season 2.0" concept was referenced on Twitter on the @OTownBaseball account. It sounded like waiting was tough for Cummins, who was anxious to get back out on the field and is doing so in a safe, healthy way. He said initially Owatonna will stick with pods of 10 or 12 even though the state is allowing pods of up to 25 under guidelines.

Cummins said it's easier to social distance and take care of health checks with smaller groups. He also stressed that players need to get as many reps as possible and work on long toss to get their arms conditioned.

There are more than 60 players in the eighth through twelfth grade group. About 230 players are signed up for grades two through seven. They began practice last week.

On a different note, Cummins said the high school team was able to replace most of the items lost due to the fire that destroyed a shed underneath the grandstand in March.


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