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Diekmann family has seen its share of baseball games this summer

ELY -- It's safe to say that Tom and Lisa Diekmann have seen their share of baseball this season.

Even before their sons, Brandon and Adam, took the field at the American Legion baseball state tournament, Tom and Lisa estimate they have seen somewhere between 120 and 130 baseball games.

"Two years ago we kept track, and I went to 99 games and she went to 106, and we never got tired of it then," Tom said. "But we've gone to way more games this year than we did then."

But the Diekmann's said that's just what you have to do.

"Everybody says that it all goes by so quick so you better enjoy it and go to as many of them as you can," Tom said.

Adam, who will be a sophomore this fall, split his time between legion and VFW. Brandon, who will attend South Dakota State, split his time between legion and amateur ball this summer. Both played on the Adrian High School team in the spring.

It's a good thing that Brandon and Adam like the sport.

"I love playing baseball," Adam said.

"Baseball is definitely the best sport that we have," Brandon said. "We play all year round."

With that many game to keep track of, Tom and Lisa admit that it's tough sometimes to make it to all the games.

"You just divide your time and try to get to as many as you can," Lisa said. "We split up and sometimes he'll go one way and I'll go the other. You just make due because they are your kids and you want to see them."

Both Adam and Brandon admit that they feel much supported throughout the seasons.

"It makes us go out and play a little bit harder knowing that our family is there," Brandon said. "We want to do well for the family."

And with family in the stands, the Diekmann brothers each had a hit for Adrian - the only two of the game - in Adrian's 7-1 loss to Jordan in the opening round of the legion state tournament.

After Adrian defeated Blue Earth to advance to the state tournament, there was some slight hesitation for the Diekmann's, but only because of a surprise birthday party.

"I had a little bit of a hesitation because the last two months we've been planning a surprise birthday party for my mother, which is Saturday night, and all my brothers and sisters are coming home," Lisa said. "For me, I had to decide, but after talking with my dad and some brothers, they said there's no question you need to go where your boys are at. Other than that, there was no hesitation."

The Diekmann's, like so many others on the team, realize how special the opportunity is, and are trying to enjoy the experience.

"It's probably never going to happen again, so you enjoy it and you go along on the ride and whatever happens happens," Lisa said. "If they go two and out, it's okay, it's just an honor to get here. We'll just take it as it is."

While family is important to the Diekmann's off the field, on the field, Adam said that his older brother pushes him to do better.

"As his older brother, I like to give him a little harder time than everyone else, but I expect him to come through as he expects me to come through," Brandon said. "We know each of us will come through in a clutch."

This isn't the first time that Adam and Brandon have been on the same team together.

"We were (on the same team) last year, and he kind of chews me out every once in a while," Adam said. "Sometimes when he chews me out I get a little upset."

But Brandon said he tries not to yell at Adam too much during the games.

As Brandon heads to South Dakota State next year, he will try and walk on to the baseball team. The Diekmann's said they would like to follow him as much as possible.

"He's going to try out when he get to school and all that and if he does, we'd definitely like to try and hit a few of the games if we could and if he plays," Lisa said.

Adam, on the other hand, will still have three more years of high school sports to play, starting with football. However, the Diekmann's will have a little time to rest before the Dragons take the field for the first time. Tom said he will enjoy the short time off.

"I'm going to sit on the couch at home because we haven't been sitting on the couch all summer," Tom said.

Both Tom and Lisa said they are fortunate to have professions where they are able to take time off when needed.

"I farm, so I pretty much shut everything off when there's a ballgame," Tom said. "Even if I'm in the middle of spring planting, we'll shut off the tractors and go to the ballgames. Varsity games, we never missed one."

Lisa, on the other hand, works in Luverne as an insurance agent.

"They've been very good as far as letting me get off and they are very family oriented," Lisa said. "They understand that you have kids and they are young once, and you do what you can for them while they're home."

The Adrian team still has at least one more game before the season is over, but both Brandon and Adam admit they will miss playing with each other.

"I'm going to miss the high school days, but definitely the legion summers," Brandon said.