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Hennager men’s fastpitch softball team repeats as Minnesota state champs

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

The Hennager Plumbing and Heating Men’s Fastpitch Softball Team repeated as Minnesota Class A Men’s  Fastpitch State Softball Champions, going 4-0 in last weekend’s tournament in Blaine, Minn. Team members include, front row, from left: Chris Bambenek, Minneapolis; Tyler Eickhoff, Fountain; Jake Dalton, Lake Crystal; Spencer Yackel, Rochester; Brent Meshke, Lake Crystal; and David Dewitz, Good Thunder. Back from, from left, is: Coach Blake Meshke, Lake Crystal; Brett Scheevel, Rochester; Ryan Scheevel, Rochester; Brandon Friedrichs, Lake Crystal; Derek Meshke, Brookings, S.D.; Josh Schroeder, Lake Crystal; and Robert Petersen, Pipestone. Photo By Sheryl Doering Meshke

Walk-off home run wins repeat title for Lake Crystal ball club

By Sheryl Doering Meshke
Reporter / Photographer
Aug. 5, 2018

BLAINE, Minn. – The Hennager Plumbing and Heating Men’s Fastpitch Softball Team repeated as Minnesota Sports Federation Class A Men’s Fastpitch State Champions, going 4-0 this weekend at Aquatore Park in Blaine, Minn.

As defending champs, the Hennager team — “Plumbers” — received a first-round bye. In the opening game, the hometown team defeated the Bombers of Fargo, N.D., 6-2. Brent Meshke of Lake Crystal, Minn., took the win, with five strikeouts. Collecting base hits were Jake Dalton, Lake Crystal, and Robert Petersen, Pipestone, Minn. Brent Meshke added a solo homer.

Brent Meshke helped Hennager Plumbing and Heating of Lake Crystal win the 2018 Minnesota Men’s Class A State Fastpitch Championship, Aug. 5 in Blaine, Minn. Photo By Sheryl Doering Meshke

Facing the St. Paul Pawns of St. Paul, Minn., the Hennager men won in a slugfest, 15-9. Brent Meshke and Ryan Scheevel, Rochester, Minn., shared duties on the mound. Collecting multiple hits for the Plumbers were Dalton; Brent Meshke; Petersen; Brandon Friedrichs, Lake Crystal; and Josh Schroeder, Lake Crystal. Petersen and Schroeder delivered home runs.

Following a sixth-inning home run to tie the championship game, Josh Schroeder receives accolades from team members Jake Dalton, center, and Brent Meshke. Photo By Sheryl Doering Meshke

To reach the championship game, the Plumbers defeated Minnesota Computers, St. Paul, 3-1, with Scheevel taking the win. He gave up six hits and struck out one. Dalton and Scheevel went two for four at the plate, with Scheevel securing a solo home run.

In the championship game, the Plumbers defeated Striker’s Lanes of Baldwin, Wis., 6-4. Brent Meshke started in the circle. In the top of the first inning, the Strikers scored three runs. The Plumbers answered with three runs in the bottom of the first. Strikers scored again in the top of the fifth, to take a one-run lead.

Scheevel relieved Brent Meshke in the sixth inning. In the bottom of the sixth, Schroeder hit a solo home run to tie the game, 4-4. With a final chance for the win in the bottom of the seventh inning, lead-off batter Dalton bunted for a single. Brent Meshke, in the third spot, hit a walk-off home run to win the title. Scheevel picked up the win.

As Brent Meshke rounds third base, coach Blake Meshke gives a high five for the walk-off home run to win the state men’s fastpitch softball championship. Photo By Sheryl Doering Meshke

Ryan Scheevel of Rochester, Minn. fires a pitch during the 2018 Minnesota Class A Men’s State Fastpitch Softball Tournament. Scheevel picked up the win in the championship game in a 6-4 victory over Striker’s Lanes. Photo By Sheryl Doering Meshke

Hennager Fastpitch team wins Okabena tournament

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Okabena.Meshke.1392web Winning the tournament held in Okabena, Minn. was the Hennager Fastpitch Softball Team of Lake Crystal, Minn. Team members include, front row, from left: Tyler Bouley, Brent Meshke, Eric Hood, Brandon Friedrichs, Jake Dalton and Devon Hagge; back row, from left: coach Blake Meshke, Kevin Roth, Derek Meshke, Josh Schroeder and Jason Cook. Photo By Sheryl Meshke.

By Sheryl Meshke / Contributing Writer

LAKE CRYSTAL, Minn. – The Hennager Plumbing and Heating fastpitch softball team won the Second Annual Okabena Fastpitch Softball Tournament, held June 29-30. The Lake Crystal-based team is comprised of 10 players, with an average age of 22.

In the opening game, the Hennager team faced Premier Bank of Rock Rapids, Iowa, winning 6-1. The team chalked up runs nearly every inning, collecting 15 hits.

At the plate, Jake Dalton was 2 for 2; Brent Meshke and Tyler Bouley, 3 for 4; and Derek Meshke and Brandon Friedrichs, 2 for 4. Josh Schroeder registered a solo home run. Brent Meshke took the win on the mound, striking out five and walking two.

The second game was a win through forfeit, with The Lakers from Okabena.


In the winners’ bracket, Hennager faced Grumpy’s of Forest City, Iowa. The game featured a contest between two former U.S. Junior Men’s Fastpitch National Team pitchers — Brent Meshke, 2012 team, and Jimmy Hartman, 2008.

The Hennager boys, “Plumbers,” scored in the first inning. Devon Hagge reached first base on an error, with Brent Meshke securing a triple to score Hagge.

Grumpy’s tied the score in the second inning, took a 2-1 lead in the third, and scored twice in the fourth. With the scoreboard showing 1-4, the Hennager team started its comeback.


The plumbers collected four hits in the fifth inning, scoring three runs to tie the contest. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Brent Meshke singled, moved to second on a Bouley single and scored on a single by Derek Meshke. Brent Meshke, 20, secured a second win in the circle with four strikeouts.

Meshke.1330web 20-year-old Brent Meshke hurled Henniger Plumbing to the 2nd Annual Okabena Men’s Fastpitch Tournament. Meshke had seven strikeouts in defeating Grumpy’s in the championship. Photo by Sheryl Meshke


Undefeated, the Hennager team once again faced the Grumpy’s team that fought its way through the loser’s bracket. Hennager won, 7-4, with 10 hits. Leading at the plate was Friedrichs, 2 for 4; and Eric Hood and Jason Cook, 2 for 3.

Included in the count was a solo home run from Cook and Bouley. On the mound, Brent Meshke recorded seven strikeouts and four walks.

“You can tell many of these players have played together for nearly 12 years,” says Coach Blake Meshke. “Hitters were on, but the defense was exceptional. Brandon Friedrichs was outstanding at shortstop and Jake Dalton caught everything hit his way.”

Eric Hood.1267web Swinging the hot bat in the championship game is Eric Hood, going two for three. Photo By Sheryl Meshke

This team will represent Lake Crystal in the ASA 23-Under Men’s Fastpitch Nationals in St. Joseph, Mo., Aug. 2-3.

(A big thank you to Sheryl Meshke for this fine reporting and photography, informing fastpitch fans that the game is still popular and being played in many parts of the U.S.)

Four Minnesotans make the final cut for Team USA

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

“I am very proud that the four of us from our area made the team. It is pretty special that we can represent Team USA together.” – Michael Lewis, Team USA

Brent Meshke, will wear the USA uniform of the Junior Men’s Fastpitch National Team.

LAKE CRYSTAL and AMBOY, MN – Most American fastpitch softball players can only dream of wearing the uniform with the big, bold, red-white-and-blue USA embroidered across the front. But for Brent Meshke, his dream has become reality.

Meshke has made “the final cut.” The 18-year-old pitcher and shortstop is now officially a member of the USA Junior Men’s Fastpitch National Team.

“When I found out my reaction was, ‘wow,’” said Meshke from Lake Crystal, Minn. “It was a relief. I have been working to be a member of the team since I was 10 years old.”

And now comes the payoff. A trip to Parana, Argentina to play in the most important tournament of his young fastpitch career: the IX International Softball Federation (ISF) Junior Men’s World Championship, November 1-10.

Click to continue reading “Four Minnesotans make the final cut for Team USA”

Four Minnesotans Representing Team USA In The ISF World Championship

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Watch an interview with four of the 17 players (age 19-under) who will represent the U.S. in the IX International Softball Federation Junior Men’s World Championship in Parana, Argentina, November 1-10.


MANKATO, MN – Coach Blake Meshke says, there is a reason it’s called fast pitch. Coach Meshke says, “Every pitch there is something going on.”

Some of Meshke’s players are so speedy, they will soon be competing for the International Softball Federation’s World Championship. Left fielder Spencer Yackel is one of the 17 athletes chosen across the U.S. to represent the Junior Men’s National Team. Yackel says, he never imaged he would play for the international championship.

In November his teammates will fly to Parana, Argentina to compete against 15 countries. Fastpitch pitcher, Brent Meshke says,

“Everybody is counting us. I mean we’ve worked hard to this point and going there will be a blast, but hopefully we come home with a medal.”

The reigning four-time champ to beat is Australia.

Team USA hopes to win its first ISF World Championship title. Brent says, “This is always been something I’ve wanted to accomplish and it’s just a huge part of my life.”

In addition to Yackel and Meshke, Jake Dalton of Lake Crystal, and Michael Lewis from Amboy are also members of the national team.

Coach Meshke says, “I never had a kid quit on me because they didn’t like the game.”

Almost a quarter of the USA team have played for coach Meshke. “I just wish more kids would give it a try.”

He says the speed of the game is what makes it fun.

A fast pitch can travel at a speed of 90 miles per hour. The only thing faster is the plane these players will fly in on their way to Argentina for the championship.

(A special thank you to Sheryl Meshke for informing us about the interview.)

For more information about the USA Softball Junior Men’s program visit USA Softball