LANGLEY — The summer American Legion baseball team started out where the high school team left off — headed in the right direction.
The American Legion Post 141 Falcons beat the Arlington 76ers 13-3 at Falcon Field Tuesday for their first victory of the season.
On the mound, Hunter Rawls gave up only three runs in four innings with reliever Jon Adams taking charge in the fifth and wrapping it up.
On offense, catcher Nick Tenuta went four-for-four and executed six stolen bases while shortstop Robert Kirby tripled with the bases loaded in the third inning and drove in three RBIs. Eric Sparks contributed another triple in the sixth to help further the Falcons’ lead.
In the final inning, Jordan Dibble walked, then made it to third on a 76er overthrow. Lucas Yale walked, forced an overthrow play and Dibble ran in the final run.
“Good heads-up baseball; their bats were outstanding and they played great defense,” said coach Dave Moody.
“I’m especially proud that they ran the bases aggressively; I believe it’s imperative to slide to avoid injuries. Hey, who wants to come home clean on a sunny day?”
With 13 of 14 players being former members from the South Whidbey High School team, their performance was expected to be high and it was. They were helped by Arlington’s insistence on making errors and dropping balls at all the right times for the home team.
“They weren’t crisp,” said team manager Brad Jaeger.
Moody, Jaeger and assistant coach Tom Fallon formed the team with a specific purpose in mind — to give the boys the training they’ll need to make it to state finals next spring.
“This summer these guys committed to getting themselves ready by playing two games and practicing twice a week,” Jaeger said. “They’re really close, they have a chance and that’s why Dave has been so supportive.”
That “Dave” is high school coach Dave Guetlin who has been generous with the use of the field, uniforms [until their new ones arrive], baseballs and general help, Jaeger said.
“All the support we could ask for,” Jaeger added. “Really, the whole emphasis is to prepare for next year. And have fun, too.”
The American Legion is kicking in $1,500 and each player must ante up $125. Helping out this summer with paperwork duties, car pooling, impromptu picnics and organizing sideline screaming are Debbie Tenuta and Ursula Shoudy.
At 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, the boys welcome Sedro-Woolley to Falcon Field at the high school.
The rest of the Falcon’s regular season home games include Lynden on June 10, Snohomish on June 26, island rival Oak Harbor on July 1 and then they’ll wrap things up July 10 against Bellingham.
Unless they make the playoffs, of course.