Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Bruce Warren

Messinger plays for USA in Taiwan


August 4, 2018

Bruce Warren

Skye Messinger (left) and his brother Connor Messinger work out at Niwot HIgh School in the early morning hours to stay sharp.

Skye Messinger, University of Kansas infielder, has a couple of weeks off before heading back to school August 18th, but he’s not wasting an opportunity to work on his game. Messinger and his older brother, Connor Messinger, go down to the Niwot High School baseball field weekday mornings at 6 a.m. to get some work in before Connor heads off to his day job working for his father, Cary Messinger, at Flying Colors Painting in Niwot.

“We work on ground balls and various defenses,” Skye said. “Then we hit.” Connor was quick to point out that he gets to hit too.

Connor returned to his alma mater to serve as an assistant baseball coach after completing his college playing career as an infielder at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. He took some time off this summer when he married his high school sweetheart, Leah Saraceni. He also stays active in the game, playing with a semi-pro team out of Denver in the summer.

After the college season ended, Skye joined the Waterloo Bucks in the Northwest League in the early part of the summer before joining his KU teammates on a trip to Taiwan to represent the U.S. in the FISU World University championship tournament. “We were there for 12 days and played six games,” Skye said. “We didn’t do as well as we had hoped, but we finished 3-3.”

“They pick a college team to represent the USA in this tournament, and they picked us in the fall because they thought we were going to be pretty good,” Skye said. He has played mostly third base at Kansas, but also sees some action at shortstop.

Skye was drafted in the 22nd round by the Chicago Cubs out of high school in 2017, but decided to accept an offer to play Division I baseball at Kansas instead. One of the people he talked to at length at the time was Connor’s former teammate in middle school, David Bote, now in the big leagues with the Cubs.

“We’ve stayed in touch,” Connor said. “We’re the same age and we played together on a Niwot Youth Sports competitive team before high school. David was one of the guys who tried to get Skye to sign with the Cubs. He said it’s a great organization.” Bote had just been recalled by the Cubs for the fifth time this summer when Kris Bryant went on the disabled list, and launched a game-tying two-run homer in the ninth inning in a 7-6 win against the Diamondbacks last Thursday.

Skye has no regrets about accepting the Kansas offer. He’s confident that with hard work, he’ll have another opportunity to get drafted after his junior year if he performs well. And Connor plans to be back for his third year coaching at the high school for the Cougars.


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