Aug 3

Hennager Fastpitch softball team is state champions


Delivering a pitch in the championship game is Brent Meshke, Lake Crystal.

The Hennager Plumbing and Heating Fastpitch Softball Team of Lake Crystal, Minn., is the 2015 Class B Men’s Fastpitch State Champion. The team posted a 4-0 record at Caswell Park, North Mankato, Minn.

The “Plumbers” won the opening round in five innings, defeating Beaver Creek, Minn., 8-0. Winning pitcher was Brent Meshke, Lake Crystal, striking out six. At the plate, Josh Schroeder, Lake Crystal, was three for three. Jake Dalton, Lake Crystal, and Michael Lewis, Amboy, were two for three. Brent Meshke inked a home run.

In the second game, Hennager defeated Jonny’s of St. Charles, Minn., 4-3. Brent Meshke completed the first three innings in the circle, with three strikeouts. Lewis finished the game, striking out three. Swinging hot bats with two hits each, were Dalton; Lewis; and Brandon Friedrichs, Lake Crystal. Both Lewis and Brent Meshke knocked home runs.

The Plumbers faced Odin, Minn., the longtime rival, in the semi-final game. At the top of the seventh, the Hennager men were behind 1-4. Leadoff batter Spencer Yackel, Brooklyn Center, drew a walk. Pitcher Lewis then hit a home run to tighten the score, 3-4. The next batter — Brent Meshke — followed with a solo home run to tie the game. After 10 innings, the Plumbers won 7-4. Lewis pitched the entire game, striking out 10 batters. Racking up multiple hits in the contest was: Dalton; Schroeder; and Rick Saunders, Waconia.

The Hennager team then advanced to the championship game, defeating Jordan Realty, Jordan, Minn., 9-0 in six innings. Brent Meshke took the win in the circle, striking out four batters and giving up one hit. Batters chalking up two hits each, included: Dalton, Yackel and Derek Meshke, Brookings, S.D. Brent Meshke added a solo home run.

This is the first men’s state championship for the Hennager team. After securing a second-place finish in the Class C tournament in 2014, and third in 2013, the team was classified as a Class B team.

Stats of interest:
• Brent Meshke pitched 14 innings, striking out 13 and giving up three runs. Michael Lewis pitched 14 innings, striking out 13 and giving up four runs.
• Jake Dalton was 9 for 13; Spencer Yackel, 4 for 8; Schroeder was 6 for 14; Lewis 6 for 14, with two home runs; and Brent Meshke logged four home runs.


Members of the 2015 Class B Men’s Fastpitch State Championship Team, are, front row, from left: Eric Hood, Lake Crystal; Spencer Yackel, Brooklyn Center; Jake Dalton, Lake Crystal; Brent Meshke, Lake Crystal; Jason Cook, Minneapolis; Brandon Friedrichs, Lake Crystal; Seth Anderson, New Prague; David DeWitz, Good Thunder; and Robert Peterson, Pipestone. Back row, from left: Joe Reinhart, Winsted; Derek Meshke, Brookings, S.D.; Josh Schroeder, Lake Crystal; Rick Saunders, Waconia; Michael Lewis, Amboy; assistant coach Jeff Hohenstein, Garden City; coach Blake Meshke, Lake Crystal; and sponsor Steve Hennager.