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Austin Greyhounds are set to host SpamTown Challenge this week

With the amateur baseball season already under way, the Austin Greyhounds will host their biggest week of the summer when the SpamTown Challenge begins at Marcusen Park Thursday.

The Challenge will bring a total of 12 teams, ranging from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois, to Austin. The teams will be divided into three pools, with the winner of each pool and one wild card team advancing to Sunday’s finals.

“The wild card adds some excitement to it and the level of competition is amazing. We’re going to have our hands full and it’s still early for us,” Hounds manager John Frein said. “The teams that come here know they’re getting good competition on a great field.”

This is the 12th annual SpamTown challenge and that tourney is one of the highlights of the summer for Marucsen Park.

“It’s a milestone event every year for us. We have a lot of people doing work behind the scenes with Kathy and Joe Serratore and we have a lot of volunteers helping out,” Frein said. “We want to do well in the tournament and it would be nice to win it, but another priority is we want to be good hosts and that’s what keeps feeding the tournament year after year.”

The Hounds (0-6 overall) will be in a pool with the Joliet Dirtbags, St. Louis Park and the St. Paul Capitals and the Blue Sox (3-2 overall) will be in a pool with Kewaskum, Forest Lake and Minnetonka.

Games will begin when the Hounds play Joliet at 6 p.m. Thursday and games will be played Friday, starting at 1:30 p.m. and Saturday, starting at 9 a.m.

The final four will take place Sunday with the championship game taking place in Marcusen Park 1 p.m. Saturday.

Tournament passes costs $12 for the whole weekend and it is $5 for a one day pass.