The Brookfield Stallions’ patience was rewarded Aug. 11.
The team, which has played for a decade in the La Grange Men’s Adult Baseball League, won its first championship behind the pitching of Jon Kleinmeyer.
The Stallions beat the Brookfield White Sox, 12-7, on the Babe Ruth Senior Field at Sedgwick Park in La Grange.
Kleinmeyer pitched all nine innings.
“I’m tired. I need a beer,” he said with a smile as teammates sprayed each other with champagne.
“It was big. This is our 10th year in the league and our second time making it to the championship (game). We finally won for the first time ever. The defense was great behind me,” Kleinmeyer said.
The Stallions led 6-0 early. The White Sox trimmed the advantage to 7-6 before the Stallions pulled away.
“I could have pitched better,” said Kleinmeyer, 29. “The White Sox put up some hits on me. I’m getting older.”
Producing under pressure isn’t unusual for him.
In 2008, his pitching helped the Western Conference’s Babe Ruth team to the state championship.
“We lost in the regional championship to the Hammond Chiefs,” he recalled.
When he’s not playing baseball, Kleinmeyer is a route driver for Cintas Uniform Services.
Joe Hnojsky led the Stallions with three hits. Kyle Halverson added a triple and a double. The team won 18 of its last 20 games and swept through the La Grange MABL playoffs.
After losing its first playoff game, the White Sox won four straight games to advance from the losers bracket and play in the championship game.
Had they won, they would have forced a second game Aug. 11. Finishing second, the White Sox won $250.
For winning first place, the Stallions collected $500.
“I think we’re just going to go to the bar and run up a huge tab,” Kleinmeyer said.