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Amateur baseball: League playoffs set to begin Wednesday

The regular season is in the books and the playoffs are set to begin this week for amateur baseball teams throughout the state.

The First Nite/Gopher League playoffs fire up Wednesday with Game 1 of six different best-of-3 series. The winner of each series will play in the Region 13C Tournament for a chance at state. This year’s Class C State Tournament will be held on the Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Aug. 15-31 with games in Belle Plaine, Jordan and LeSueur.

As regular season champions of their respective leagues, Jackson and Wilmont both get byes into the region tournament. Jackson won the First Nite League title with an 18-1 overall record with Wilmont going 14-3 to win the Gopher League.

Worthington, which finished fourth in the First Nite League with a 7-12 record, will host the fifth-place team out of the Gopher League in the first round, Adrian. The A’s, who went 7-10 during the regular season, will travel to Worthington for a 7:30 p.m. first pitch on Wednesday. Game 2 will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Adrian with a possible Game 3 set for 2 p.m. Sunday in Worthington.

Luverne (14-5) finished second in the Gopher League and will battle the FNL’s seventh-place finisher, Lakefield (5-14) in the first round. The Redbirds will host Game 1 at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Pipestone. Game 2 will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Lakefield with the if necessary third game at 2 p.m. Sunday in Luverne.

Hadley (13-6) and Windom (6-12) will square off in a first round matchup. As the third-place team in the Gopher League, the Buttermakers have homefield advantage in two of the possible three games. Game 1 will be hosted by the Pirates at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The series will shift to Hadley for Game 2 at 2 p.m. Saturday with Game 3 scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Sunday in Hadley.

As the fifth-place team in the FNL, Heron Lake (7-12) will host its series opener against Milroy (12-7, fourth-place Gopher) at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Jackson. The Irish will host Game 2 and, if necessary, Game 3 at 2 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

Pipestone (3-15, sixth-place Gopher) will open the league tournament at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Truman against 9-8 (third-place FNL) Martin County. The A’s will host a 7:30 p.m. contest on Friday for Game 2, with the potential Game 3 being back in Truman at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tracy (0-19, seventh-place Gopher) will begin play at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Fairmont (14-5, second-place FNL). The Express will host Saturday’s Game 2 at 2 p.m. in Tracy, with Game 3 going back to Fairmont at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Zach Hacker

Zach is the Daily Globe sports reporter. He has previously been a sports editor at both the Waseca County News in Waseca, Minn., and The Emporia Gazette in Emporia, Kansas. He is originally from New Richland, Minn., and now lives in Worthington with his dog; a beagle-corgi mix named Homer. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family and friends, pontooning on St. Olaf Lake and watching professional and collegiate sports.

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