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Amateur district previews: Baseball teams set for district play

The road to Ronken Field starts this week. Mitchell-area district tournaments start today and continue through July 28 across the region, with teams vying for the Class B state amateur baseball tournament. This year's 32-team, single-elimination ...

Dimock/Emery's Jed Schmidt safely slides into second base as Parkston's Jake Weber waits for the ball on July 5 at The Pond in Parkston. Dan Bonte, of Parkston, is in the background. (Ryan Deal / Republic)
Dimock/Emery's Jed Schmidt safely slides into second base as Parkston's Jake Weber waits for the ball on July 5 at The Pond in Parkston. Dan Bonte, of Parkston, is in the background. (Ryan Deal / Republic)

The road to Ronken Field starts this week.

Mitchell-area district tournaments start today and continue through July 28 across the region, with teams vying for the Class B state amateur baseball tournament. This year's 32-team, single-elimination tournament is Aug. 1-12 at Ronken Field in Sioux Falls.

Here's a quick rundown of storylines to watch in the district-qualifying tournaments:

District 3B

When/where: Saturday-through-July 26 in Chamberlain.

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Defending champion: Plankinton.

Participating teams/available bids: Six teams playing for four spots.

Outlook: Four Corners and Plankinton finished atop the Pony Hills League standings with 11-4 records, but the Hayes-based club picked up the top seed by sweeping the Bankers in their three league meetings this year. ... Both teams look good to return to the state tournament but a fierce competition is expected for the final two state spot. Chamberlain, Kimball/White Lake and Miller all finished the season tightly bunched in the standings.

District 4B

When/where: Friday-through-July 28 in Humboldt.

Defending champion: Dell Rapids Mudcats.

Participating teams/available bids: Nine teams playing for six spots.

Outlook: Canova, which missed out on last year's state tournament, earned the No. 1 seed in District 4B this season with a 14-2 Cornbelt League record. Canova plays the Lennox/Salem winner at 5 p.m. Saturday in the second round of the tournament. ... Dell Rapids Mudcats (11-5) edged Hartford/Humboldt (10-6) and Flandreau (10-6) for the second seed in the district tournament. ... The host Gamecocks are seeded third, and are in a good position to qualify for the state tournament for the first time since 2015. ... Some of the best drama could be in the last-chance bracket, as four teams will play for two spots in a roughly 24-hour span on July 27-28.

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District 5B

When/where: Today-through-July 27 in Platte.

Defending champion: Alexandria.

Participating teams/available bids: Eight teams playing for five spots.

Outlook: Two-time defending state champion Alexandria sports a 15-1 record, including a 13-1 mark in the Sunshine League. The Angels' lone blemish came against district foe Winner/Colome 1-0 on June 7, snapping a 28-game winning streak. The Angels won the first meeting 12-8 on May 24. ... Winner/Colome (17-2, 13-2 Sunshine) is the No. 2 seed. ... Watch out for No. 3 seed Dimock/Emery, which started 0-4 in Sunshine League play. But the Raptors righted the ship for a 12-10 record and a 7-6 mark in league action.

District 6B

When/where: Today-through-July 28 in Lesterville.

Defending champion: Tabor.

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Participating teams/available bids: Eight teams playing for five spots.

Outlook: The South Central League schedule was ravaged by wet weather this year, meaning the tournament's No. 1 seed Menno (12-4) played a split doubleheader on the final day of the season Sunday, winning at Wynot (Neb.) and but falling at Lesterville. ... Wynot finished 11-5, while Tabor was 10-6 for the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds. ... Sixth-seeded Irene (6-10) and seventh-seeded Freeman (4-12) have both made the state tournament each of the last two years and pose upset threats.

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