It's legion Season.
American Legion baseball is underway and the Minot Vistas open their campaign this week against the Preseason number 3--The Grand Forks Royals.
The Vistas are ranked 6th in the North Dakota Class "AA" preseason coaches poll.
And after a 25 and 22 season in 2013 they return almost half of their 15 players--and for the 16th season skipper Todd Larson is back in the dugout with the Vistas as well.
With players coming from all three high schools in the Magic City-- Coach Larson says one of the early goals every year is getting his players to gel as a team before they start the season.
Todd Larson/ Vistas Head Coach "That's one of our main goals early. We have a bunch of games early on, we take a road trip east early on. At that time we're trying to get these guys to feel comfortable with each other. Trust each other, so they play together as a team."
The Vistas open the 2014 season at Corbett Field in Minot on Wednesday--and with 699 wins in his legion coaching career-- Larson says if he's going to get to number 700 this team has to focus on the two "A's--- their athleticism and being aggressive.
Todd Larson "Our Athleticism, we have to use that to our advantage. I think this spring [with Minot High] we sat around and let things try to happen, that didn't work out so well. You're going to see us put runners in motion a lot. You'll see us hit and run, be aggressive on the bases. We want to be aggressive pitchers, aggressive defensively. I think if we stand back on our heels bad things will happen and we're going to see if we can pick up the tempo of the game a little bit. "
Grant Larson / First Base; Pitcher "We have half the team coming back. I think defensively our versatility is going to be our number one thing. We have to work a little bit on the sticks and being more productive."
First game of the season is Tomorrow at 5:30 and 7:00 then another double header is thursday against the Royals... Same bat time, same bat place...