Monday, August 18, 2008

Feiner leads Sun Prairie in more ways than one

DE FOREST – Sun Prairie was the lowest remaining seed in the entire 42 team Home Talent League. They beat all odds and the DeForest Deacons on Sunday to earn their way into the league’s championship series thanks in large part to catcher Kasey Feiner.

To say that he’s experienced doesn’t begin to describe this year’s starting catcher on the HTL All-Star team. He’s a veteran influence and a leader both on his team and even within his own family.

While Feiner is paving the way for Sun Prairie to go to the Final Four, he has two brothers that are playing professional baseball whom he played mentor to as they grew up.

“Kasey was a great teacher along the way the way for his younger brothers,” said his father Scott. “No doubt about it.”

Kasey’s brother Korey is a catcher in the Seattle Mariners minor league organization while Kevyn is a middle infielder in the Cincinnati Reds farm system.

So while his siblings are getting paid to play, Kasey is enjoying the spoils of a successful season back home.

One of the reasons Sun Prairie finds themselves as the Eastern section playoff champions is that Feiner and several his teammates have been there and done that before. As HTL champions in 2005, Feiner knows better than to let the pressure of a big game dictate how the team plays. “

The special one about this is you get to appreciate it because you've already been there and won one,” said Feiner. “You really get to relax and appreciate it.”

A lot was at stake on Sunday. The loser was sent home packing, but the winner gets to play an addition three and maybe even four weeks in the league’s round robin championship format.
“We've got a little more playoff experience than they do,” said Sun Prairie manager Scott Knorr about one of the reasons they were able to beat DeForest and move on in the playoffs.

Sun Prairie was the lowest remaining seed coming into Eastern section playoffs and, of course, they will continue to be as they begin the first round of the championship series next week when they take on Verona in Marshall on Sunday. Feiner thinks it’s an advantage not to be the favorite.

“Even though we were the fourth seed, I was feeling confident about that Monona game,” said Feiner about their opening round victory in the Eastern section a week prior. “And it's kind of nice because you win that one and you get some momentum going, and you're still the underdog. They're still expected to beat you.”

No one would have blamed Feiner had he packed it in after Sun Prairie won the league title back in 2005. After all, here he is toiling in amateur baseball when two of his brothers are playing professionally.

But he doesn’t feel like the low man on the totem pole. Instead he’s achieving at highest level he knows.

“You play to have fun and to compete against other people,” said Feiner. “I get to have my parents and a whole bunch of people come watch me. So those guys [his brothers] are kind of slaving away. I don't know who has it better.”

Next weekend’s Home Talent League road trip: Sun Prairie plays Verona in the first round of the championship series round robin at Marshall on Sunday August 24 at 1:00.

Photo credit: Brian Carriveau

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