Starting Tuesday, the WIAA Regionals begin, the first step towards going to the State Tournament at Stevens Point on July 29 and 30. It will take three victories to make the state tournament.
Second-seeded Brookfield Central and third-seeded Brookfield East are in the rugged Germantown sectional. Arrowhead, one of the top teams in the state this summer, is rated No. 1 and Menomonee Falls is seeded No. 4 in the regional. Fifth-seeded Slinger, sixth-seeded Germantown, seventh-seeded Pewaukee and eighth-seeded Sussex Hamilton are also solid teams.
Central hosts Pewaukee and East hosts Germantown in 5:30 p.m. games. If both Brookfield schools win they will face off for the fourth time this year on Friday at 2:30 p.m. at Germantown.
Across town, seventh-seeded Wauwatosa East and eighth-seeded Wauwatosa West will have their hands full taking on second-seeded New Berlin Eisenhower and top-seeded New Berlin West in the first rounds at 5 p.m. The New Berlin schools are the only schools out of the eight in the New Berlin West Sectional with winning records.
Good luck to the Lancers, Spartans, Red Raiders and Trojans on Tuesday.
Some thoughts on the local baseball teams.
Brook Central - Everyone knows that Ryan Hinz, Mike Mierow, Ricky Leachy, Pete Ostergaard, Matt Upson and Danny Barwick can hit. But now senior Tim Peterson has emerged down the stretch, giving the Lancers seven tough hitters.
Look for someone like veteran Matt Gordon, Billy Maus, Collin O'Gorman, Brad Leachy or Steve Rossman to also step up.
Brook East - The Spartans need to shake off the fact that Central handled them in their big two-game series on July 9-10. They have had a good season and they need to beat a tough Germantown team on Tuesday to hopefully get another shot at the Lancers. The Jakes - Janowski and Schaffhauser - and the Syllas - Brian and Kevin - will lead this group.
But with seniors Janowski, Zach Stewart, Zach Sines, Demetri Tongas and Josh Schober making their last stand, the Spartans want to go out with a bang.
I want to give special mention to Adam Knudsen, who has done a good job in the field and has come up with some big hits from his ninth spot - and sophomore Matt Talbot, who has had some huge hits this summer.
Tosa East - Juniors Danny Sayles on the mound and Tyler O'Brien behind the plate need to come up with a big game plan to hold down Ike. The Red Raiders' chances are slim and none if this gets into a shooting match. The Brians - Schneider and Shank - have been hot recently and that's what East needs to pull an upset - more than two hitters coming through.
Tosa West - Nothing - and I repeat - nothing could be more satisfying to coach Chad Mateske and the Trojans than knocking off top-seeded New Berlin West. Spencer Lulloff needs to come up with a big performance on the mound and Chris Laskey, who has come on since returning to the catching role. 2B Alex Rehl has also been an offensive force this year.
Can the Trojans find a hero from among Josh Kundinger, Adam Orlando, Andy Minkley, Rob Dvorak or Kyle Heideman to make a big play.
If either of the Tosa schools stand a chance for victory, they must - I can't emphasize this enough - play well defensively. If either team gets good pitching, they can not have their defense let them down.
Be a hit and have a ball.