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Cleared from COVID-19, Pinnacle Bank returns to baseball field

Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 11:04 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Pinnacle Bank players arrived at Lincoln Southwest’s baseball field Wednesday afternoon healthy and ready to play ball. The team’s season opener occurred on a warm, sun-soaked evening thirteen days after originally scheduled.

“It feels like you’ve been in the basement for bad weather and you can finally come out of the basement,” Pinnacle Bank head coach Mitch Vernon said.

Pinnacle Bank was two days from its June 18th start when multiple players tested positive for COVID-19. All players and coaches were immediately quarantined, forcing the team to miss its first scheduled games, along with the prestigious Mike Peterson/Coach K Tournament, among other games. The players suffered only minor coronavirus symptoms and tested negative for COVID-19 midway through quarantine.

“We would be selfish if we would go out and play against other teams,” Pinnacle Bank pitcher/infielder Telo Arsiaga said. “Putting not just the other players, but whoever they live with, whoever they see, grandparents, siblings, who have medical conditions (at risk). It was hard for us, but in the end we could have potentially saved a life.”

With a clean bill of health, Pinnacle Bank players had Wednesday’s July 1 game against Sampson Construction circled on the calendar. On game day, there was another curveball thrown their way. An overnight storm caused all games scheduled for Densmore Park to be cancelled. Vernon quickly reacted in hopes of restoring his team’s long-awaited debut. The Pinnacle Bank head coach coordinated the game to be moved to Lincoln Southwest’s practice fields. Along with the location change, game time was moved up 90 minutes. Vernon says perhaps the biggest challenge was finding umpires available at that time.

With no bleachers, parents and fans sat in folding chairs around the ball field. Vernon believes its the first senior-level American Legion baseball game played on Lincoln Southwest’s campus.

“I said we’re going to play somehow, some way,” Vernon said. “Here we are.”

Pinnacle Bank defeated Sampson Construction, 8-0.

Copyright 2020 KOLN. All rights reserved.

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