Early impact: Meiklejohn starts for VCSU, now back with LaMoure Post 19
There aren’t many college freshmen that jump into the starting nine right out of the chute.
Meiklejohn played his way into the lineup for Valley City State this past season, starting 23 games at shortstop and hitting over .300 for the Vikings. The former multi-sport standout for the Loboes wasn’t expecting anything early other than to compete for a job.
“You never know going in, all you can do is work your butt off and if you get an opportunity you have to take advantage of it and I thought I did a pretty good job of doing that,” he said.
Meiklejohn hit. 302 for the Vikings and scored 14 runs as he quickly adapted from facing Class B competition to college pitchers.
“It’s a big transition definitely. First and foremost there are a lot more players out, so you have that competition on your own team, and then adjusting to the college level is a pretty big jump,” Meiklejohn said. “Obviously, the pitching is really good and it takes time to get used to that, but it’s like anything else. You try to get used to it a little more every day. You have to keep improving and not take any steps back.”
This summer, Meiklejohn is doing that again for the LaMoure Post 19 Legion team, which is off to another solid start at 4-1.
He doesn’t feel any pressure necessarily to produce more after a successful collegiate debut.
“There’s a little of that maybe, but we have a lot of guys on this team that have had a lot of success themselves, so I just want to play my part and make sure I’m doing everything I can to help us win as many games as possible,” Meiklejohn said.
Post 19 is a perennial power in Class B Legion baseball, which has undergone a transition this season under the new three-class system. The Southeast Region includes Kidder County, Ellendale, Oakes, Enderlin, Hankinson-Fairmount, Galchutt, Kindred and Lidgerwood. LaMoure already has two wins over Oakes and one each over Hankinson-Fairmount and Kidder County.
Meiklejohn, Brady Thielges and Parker Stemen give Post 19 coach J.R. Thielges a strong trio at the top of the pitching rotation. There’s plenty of pop in the lineup too with Thielges, Meiklejohn and Anthony Olson veterans of several successful Legion campaigns.
“We always expect to win. Everyone’s goal is to shoot for state and the Midwest Regional and compete at the highest level,” Meiklejohn said.
Summers consist of more than baseball. He also helps out on the farm with his sophomore year at Valley City State looming, where he’s studying elementary education. He also has the Meiklejohn coaching gene. His mom Mona coached for years in LaMoure and sister Jada is an assistant volleyball coach in Jamestown.
“I don’t care what I coach necessarily whether it’s baseball, basketball football,” he said. “The coaches I had helped me so much growing up, I want to have that kind of impact on young kids and help them have some of the same opportunities I’ve had.”
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org