FAIRMONT - Area baseball diamonds will literally be heating up this week with the start of the Region 13C amateur playoffs; the 2nd District, Southwest Sub-District VFW tournament; and the Division II, 2nd District American Legion baseball postseason in 90-degree temperatures.
The Fairmont Martins (21-6) open their best-of-3 regional amateur baseball series against the Tracy Express at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont.
The Martins then travel to Tracy on Friday night for Game 2, with the first pitch being thrown out at 7:30 p.m. If the two teams split, the decisive Game 3 will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday back at Herb Wolf Field.
The Fox Lakes Foxes open their regional series against Hadley at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Truman. The game was moved from the Foxes' home field of Welcome due to Truman's ballpark having lights.
Game 2 shifts to Hadley at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night, with an 'if necessary' Game 3 taking place at 2 p.m. Sunday in Hadley.
The winners of those two series advance to an eight-team regional tournament, with the eventual Region 13 champion and runner-up advancing to the Minnesota Class 'C' state tournament at Dick Putz and Joe Faber fields in St. Cloud.
The Fairmont VFW Post 1222 baseball lineup (12-9) opens the Southwest Sub-District postseason by facing Blue Earth at 2 p.m. Thursday in St. James.
The winner of the Fairmont-Blue Earth game plays the winner between Mapleton and St. James at 7 p.m. Friday back in St. James, while the loser meets the loser between New Ulm Gold and Wells at 2 p.m. Friday in St. James.
VFW sub-district baseball action continues in St. James over the weekend, with the championship game set for 1 p.m. Sunday. The top two teams advance to the 2nd District tourney in New Ulm next week.
The Blue Earth American Legion Post 89 and Truman Post 115 baseball teams begin play in the Division II, 2nd District tournament Friday in Truman.
Blue Earth (12-8), the Sub-District 'C' runner-up, faces Sub-District 'B' champion Springfield at 11 a.m. Friday in Truman.
Luverne, the Sub-District 'A' runner-up, then faces Sub-District 'B' runner-up Mountain Lake at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
St. James, the 'C' champion, plays Sub-District 'A' No. 3 representative Windom at 4 p.m. Friday.
Host Truman caps Friday's first-round district action by taking on Sub-District 'A' champion Pipestone in a 7 p.m. game.
The Division II, 2nd District tournament continues Saturday and Sunday before finishing on July 27-28 in Truman. The championship game is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, July 28.
All-Valley Conference diamond accolades.
Ten area baseball and softball players earned all-league honors for the high school spring campaign, while six took honorable mention.
Garrett Schock, Dylan Petrowiak and Tony Payne represented Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman on the first team, along with Martin County West's trio of Mitch Sitzmann, Austin Krumwiede and Jake Faber.
ML/GHEC/Truman's Jeremy Smith and Spencer Schrader joined MCW's Tyson Schuder and Alex Biehn as honorable mention choices.
In the softball ranks, MCW's trio of Morgan Williamson, Rebecca Steen and Kate Thiesse - along with Madelia/Truman's Savannah Stevens - garnered all-conference first-team recognition.
MCW's Sara Ingledew and Madelia/Truman's Hanna Hartman rounded out the area softball representatives as honorable mention choices.