Reasnor Fastpitch, back together and ready for NAFA A World Series challenge

Written by Bob on August 14th, 2013

“Fastpitch has every bit of the challenge and competitiveness of baseball.” – Case Brendeland, Reasonor catcher.

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DES MOINES, IOWA – Last year’s fastpitch season was a downer for Case Brendeland and his Reasnor teammates. It was the first time in six decades that the little town of Reasnor, Iowa (pop. 151) didn’t field a men’s fastpitch team.

“Last summer the perfect storm of events led to us not being able field a Reasnor team for the first time since the 1950’s,” said Brendeland, 32, Reasnor’s catcher. “Several of us missed the game and didn’t want to go another summer without it.”

So in the spring after a sponsor stepped forward, Brendeland went about putting the team back together. He combined a mixture of former players with some new additions, and they once again started playing the game they love.

    FRESH START INTO THE FUTURE

“We started from square one again,” he said. “We moved guys all over the place; it had similarities like tee-ball. We weren’t nearly as focused on winning as we were on seeing what the new guys could do in different spots.”

But then the team hit a snag: the sponsor suddenly left leaving Brendeland and his remaining teammates scrambling to keep the team together. But instead of treating the situation as a negative, they set things on the right path this time around.

“Slim Vanderwaal, Reasnor’s longtime general manager, helped me to revive the old team and we plan to move forward into the future with the tradition that we lost for a year,” Brendeland said. “Slim is the guy that makes Reasnor a family. (He is) the thread that ties us together.”

The Reasnor ship is on a straight sail now, and just in time for an important national tournament: the NAFA A World Series from Aug. 15-18. Reasnor opens Thursday night at 7:30 against the winner between Nebraska Roca Tavern and The Illinois Stock at the Greater Des Moines Softball Complex.

    KEY PLAYERS, SOLID PITCHING

Although Reasnor needs everyone performing well to win, a few key players do stand out.

Starting with first baseman, Tom Arnburg, a power-hitting first baseman. In the outfield, Nick Walker has speed and swings a good bat. And Travis Sayre also has the speed to get on base and start rallies. And he has a “cannon for an arm,” Brendeland said.

And of course without solid pitching, it’s difficult to compete in fastpitch.
But in Mike Clark, Reasnor has a savvy veteran.

“It’s fun watching him stare as a new batter steps in the box until HE decides the proper pitch to throw to me,” Brendeland said. “Catchers generally like it the other way round, but I think he was literally grandfathered in to being able to throw whatever he likes.”

And that’s just fine with Brendeland.

Along with Clark, Reasoner can rely on Matt Cross. “He has a deceptively heavy drop ball, throws strikes, and keeps guys off balance enough to not quite (hit the ball) clean,” Brendeland said.

And there’s also Tony Royster. The two have been battery mates for a dozen years.

“Tony has developed into a four-pitch veteran who utilizes multiple speeds on all of his pitches,” Brendeland said, adding that batters have a hard time adjusting to Royster’s various windmill offerings.

    FASTPITCH GENES

Brendeland got his start in fastpitch as a young boy following his dad Merle around to ball games, finally getting to play alongside his dad for a team in Ames while still in high school.

Then after the Ames team folded, Reasnor picked him up. A baseball player in his younger years, Brendeland has grown fond of fastpitch.

“Fastpitch has every bit of the challenge and competitiveness of baseball,” he said. “It’s what I’ve known my entire life.”

He was once known for his speed in football and soccer and fastpitch. He’s not the quickest guy in the Reasnor lineup any more, but certainly one of its veterans.

“I’m (still) as excited to play as I’ve ever been,” he said.

    FULL ROSTER READY TO GO

Having the World Series in Des Moines has been a blessing for Reasnor since some of the guys would have trouble getting off work to travel for a national tournament.

“Some guys have commitments or inflexible work schedules, but (playing locally) they can still get some ball in,” Brendeland said. “We have filled our 18-man roster and plan to play everyone at some point or another.”

And this veteran ball club has versatility.

“We feel that we have multiple winning combinations,” he said. “NAFA A is about scoring runs and playing great defense. There just aren’t many 1-0 or 2-1 games at this level.”

1 Comments so far ↓

  1. dennis frye says:

    For the Many Fastbal fans from The Birdland days , Bomber Park days , Savage park days , The Boys of Summer are back in Town !!! The Fastest Game on Dirt still carries on in the DM area !!!

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