Kearns wins batting title, MVP

LEWISTOWN – Lewistown’s Isaiah Kearns broke a 32-year-old record this past Mifflin County Babe Ruth season as he won the 2013 batting title with a .667 average.

Kearns, a 15-year-old, was 58-for-67 with 20 doubles, two triples and seven home runs. The West star knocked in 52 runs and his seven home runs also led the league.

The old record was held by Yeagertown’s Steve Searer, who batted .657 as a 15-year-old.

The batting title is the oldest award that the league gives out as it was started in 1970.

Gary Stimely, president of the Mifflin County League, announced the winners and the league will present 2013 awards on today at 7 p.m. between the District 7 14- and 15-year-old all-star games at Armagh Memorial Field.

Kearns is ths sixth player from the West to win the batting award as he follows Matt Hilton, 2003; Chris Tressler, 2004; Kirby Moist, 2008; Ted Wilson, 2009; and Trevor Peachey, 2010.

Kearns also was named the league’s Most Valuable Player. On the mound, Kearns was 5-0 with two saves. He pitched 32 innings, walking 21 and striking out 54. The 15-year-old only gave up 15 hits and his ERA was 1.31 and his WHIP was 1.22.

Kearns is the eighth West player to gain an MVP award, which was started in 1973. Other West winners include Hilton (tie), 2003; Tressler, 2004; Conner Muir (tie), 2007; Moist, 2008; Hunter Walker, 2009; Peachey, 2010; and Lucas McKay, 2012.

Winning the Outstanding Pitcher Award was Lewistown’s Peyton Reesman, a 15-year-old from the league champion team.

Reesman, who was 6-0, pitched 39.2 innings as walked 37 and struck out 80. He also picked up three saves.

The West left-hander gave up just 18 hits and had a 1.06 ERA and a WHIP of 1.40.

Only three other West pitchers have won that award – Tressler and Ed Deans tied in 2004 and Heath Hidlay won in 2011.

Since joing the league in 1999, the West has now won 16 batting, pitching and MVP awards, second only to Belleville, which was 22.

Winning the John Howe Sportsmanship Award was Belltown’s Zach Hostetler, a 15-year-old.

The award is named in honor of Milroy’s John Howe, who was a member of the 1983 Mifflin County 13-year-old All-Star team that won a state championship. Howe had an untimely death after the season.

Belltown had five other Sportsmanship winners: Sonny Ciccolini, 1989; J.L. McCloskey, 2005; Reid Powell, 2008; Zach Horne, 2010 (tie); and Hunter Wray, 2011.

Also being honored are the top three teams in the league for the 2013 season: Lewistown West (25-1), Yeagertown (21-6) and Strodes Mills (16-11).

This marked the West’s sixth title in a row and eighth overall.

“No West group worked harder than this group,” Bernie Howard, the West manager said, “No team showed more improvement from preseason to midseason than this team.

“We did return two of the top pitchers in the league,” Howard remarked. “Isaiah (Kearns) and Peyton (Reesman). Those players who worked (since our preseason workouts in January) were Manny Eby, C.J. Reigle, Jonah Schultz, Trent Hidlay, Damon Jasper, Hunter Amrheim, Kenny Cavanaugh and 13-year-olds Thomas Remy, Marcus Donahey and Ty Ferencz.

“As a coach, neither I nor coach (Chuck) Curry ever won a game,” Howard said, “We believe it’s out job to teach and to prepare our team to be in the best position for success every time they take the field. No team emphasized this than this team. They simply refused to lose.

“We couldn’t be prouder of them,” Howard pointed out. “Chuck and I feel this 2013 championship is right up there as one of the most satisfying in our years with Lewistown West.”