For Castle's Zach Messinger, the accolades just keep coming.
The Knights' pitcher was selected first team all-state by Prep Baseball Report. He was previously named first team all SIAC.
"All year, I wanted this to be my best year and help lead our team to a deep postseason run," Messinger said.
A deep postseason run is what the Knights did with the help of Messinger. Castle was able to win their first regional since 2014.
In their Class 4A semistate match up against Indianapolis Cathedral played at Plainfield, Messinger only allowed one unearned run in seven innings before having to be taken out due to the 120-pitch count rule. Messinger also homered during that game to tie the score at 1-1. Unfortunately for the Knights, they would eventually lose in 5-1 in the eighth and end Messinger and ending the dream of playing at Victory Field for the state in Indianapolis.
Messinger finished the season with an 8-0 record. He also had an ERA of 1.24 with 96 strike outs.
"Zach not only has talent, he works hard to get better and is never satisfied," Knights coach Curt Welch said. "He's that player that comes early to work on his game, makes sure equipment is out for practice, and leads by example during practice. The University of Virginia is going to love Zach."
As Welch noted, Messinger will be furthering his baseball career next year at the University of Virginia. Virginia is a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference and is considered one of the Division I power conferences.
The Virginia Cavaliers have had some recent success, winning the College World Series in 2015 and finishing runner-up in 2014. The Cavaliers have made the NCAA tournament every year since Brian O'Connor took over coaching responsibilities in 2004.
"Playing at Virginia is such an exciting part of my future," Messinger said. "I'm excited to be a part of such a prestigious program under the best coaches in the country. I am just trying to work as hard as I can and prove something to prove something to the coaching staff and help the team anyway I can."