Amateur baseball: Nisswa Lightning honored at Twins game
The team was honored for capturing the Class C State title
The Class C state champion Nisswa Lightning amateur baseball team was honored on the field before the Minnesota Twins home game against Cleveland Saturday, Sept. 10.
The Lightning clinched the first state championship in team history Monday, Sept. 5, when they defeated Victory League rival Buckman 12-3 in Faribault.
The title was significant for Lightning team members like Paul Jenkins, who earned his first title in 48 years of playing amateur baseball. Jenkins, along with his sons, Aaron and Brett, were part of the Nisswa team that finished third at state in 2015.
“It was a wonderful feeling after all these years,” Paul Jenkins. “It’s pretty impressive to win a (state) tournament with 48 teams.”
The championship was also special for Nate DeChaine, who stepped away from playing baseball for four years. DeChaine had a memorable state tournament and earned the Fred Roufs MVP award. The former Morningside College player tied state tournament records when he slugged three home runs and drove in eight runs in a quarterfinal game against Jordan. DeChaine finished the tournament driving in 11 runs and compiling a 3-0 pitching record with a 2.93 earned-run average in 15 ⅓ innings.
The 99th annual Minnesota Baseball Association amateur tournament drew 18,011 fans over three weekends.