The competition in prep baseball for the Class 3A, 2A and 1A teams has intensified. This is a time for teams to start to solidify their positions for the postseason or enter the postseason as is the case in 1A. The games will get tougher, and the cream will most certainly rise to the top. With that in mind, let’s heap praise with a Player Prop and then take a deeper dive into some of the key games this week.

Player Props: Vaughn Green, Jr., Resurrection Christian: The Cougars are one of the top ranked teams in Class 3A with a 17-3 record, including an 8-2 record in the Patriot League led by state power Eaton (20-0). A key for RC’s success has been the play of Green. Green is hitting a team-best .519 with 28 hits and 24 RBIs. Green is coming off a 2-for-3 performance in the Cougars most recent win – a 10-1 decision over Platte Valley Monday. He also has been on the mound for a team-high 32 innings, and has 44 strikeouts.

Green will try and keep things rolling against Liberty Comm (5-14) at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Class 3A

La Junta (10-10) at Lamar (12-8), 4 p.m., Wednesday

These two teams don’t like each other. They have been bitter rivals for decades – they are like the Alabama-Auburn rivalry of prep baseball. They are littered with players who have played in the Major Leagues, including pitchers Tippy Martinez and Mike Oquist from La Junta and Lamar’s MLB alumni includes – but is not limited to – pitchers Scott Elarton and Doug Brocail. La Junta is coming off a 12-11 win over Lamar on Tuesday. La Junta is led by a trio of .400-plus hitters in Luke Garner, Eli Stokes, and Tyler Malden, and it is 6-1 in the Tri-Peaks League. Garner and Malden had two hits each in Tuesday’s win over Lamar, which is 4-3 in the Tri-Peaks League, and will counter with Cael Buxton (.500), Austin Thacker (.429) and Ryker Ratcliff (.426). Thacker (three hits) and Buxton (two hits) had strong efforts in Tuesday’s defeat. Lamar’s last three losses to Manitou Springs (8-7 and 9-8) and La Junta (12-11) have been by one run.

Class 2A

Swink (13-5) at Fowler (14-6), 10 a.m., Saturday doubleheader

Swink is in the midst of a key finishing stretch of its season. The Lions split a doubleheader with Rye Saturday and face Dolores Huerta (10-11) at 7 p.m., Wednesday at Pueblo’s Runyon Field, and Fowler in three big games. Swink is paced offensively by Nate Cabrera (.609), Conner Clodfelter (.517) and Hunter Bauserman (.481). Fowler, which is coming off a tough 7-4 non-league loss to Peyton on Tuesday, has an offense sparked by Isaiah Montoya (.463), Hagen McCuistion (.455) and Landon Johnson (.452). The loss to Peyton snapped Fowler’s six game winning streak.

Class 1A

Akron (14-5) vs. Evangelical Christian Academy (8-5), 11:30 a.m., Saturday at Eads

The 16-team Class 1A Regional field is set and there are some intriguing match-ups – one being Akron vs. ECA. Akron has had a solid season as one of the top teams in 1A but is the No. 6 seed in the region hosted by Eads, the No. 3 seed. Akron, which finished the season with a 14-5 record, including losing to Otis 8-5 on May 3, will try and regroup in the postseason. The Rams are led offensively by Anderson Filla (.477) and Brandon Hellyer (.371). Filla also has a 4-0 record on the mound and he’s sporting a 1.87 ERA in nine appearances. ECA heads into the postseason as the No. 11 seed after finishing the regular season with a 4-2 record with both those losses coming to Simla (11-1 and 14-9). ECA’s top hitters are Andrew Stephenson (.368), David Damborg (.359) and Andrew Gregory (.344). The winner of the Akron-ECA game faces the victor between Eads (13-4) and Caliche (7-13), which is at 2 p.m., Saturday. The quarterfinal game will be later Saturday in Eads. The No. 1 seed in the 1A Regionals is Merino (15-6).