Summer can't be far behind, as the Menomonee Falls Lakers Land O' Lakes baseball team will open its season at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 30, with a home game at Trenary Field against the West Bend Braves.
This marks the second year in a row the new Falls team will compete in the league after a one-year hiatus that temporarily ended the village’s representation in the league that had began in 1922.
“It was a great restart for us last year,” said Lakers Board of Directors President Larry Podolske. “We were able to put together an amazing group of baseball enthusiasts with the help of the most enthusiastic coach in our area, Menomonee Falls High School coach Pat Hansen (who has led the Indians to back-to-back WIAA state summer championships).
“Community support has been terrific. Banners advertising local business are on display on the outfield fencing, thanks to the help of board members Bill Kell and Terry Fitzsimmons and we have room for more. Interested businesses can contact Terry (Fitzsimmons) at 414-587-9322 for more information.”
On the field, player/coach Nick Heiting was last year’s team batting leader for the Falls. He is a Milwaukee native and played at UW-Whitewater before joining Land O’ Lakes baseball in 1999.
“We finished our 2016 season with eight wins and 12 losses," said Heiting. "Short of our goal but we fielded a competitive team each week, had two all-stars in Don August (former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher) and Paul Smith, and many of our losses were in very close games.
“We’re focused on making the playoffs this year and, of course, beating crosstown rival and 2016 Western Division champion the Lannon Stonemen. We’ve added a few new players this year, including Jake Schimenz, (former Brown Deer High School star a current Sterling College standout), and we have a number of recent Falls High School champs including (outfielder) Matt Emmer and (infielder) Zach Kornburger to round out our roster and add some speed."