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Mitch Rodkey doesn’t say much, and when he does it’s with a soft confidence. When he’s on the bench, he sometimes sits by himself, away from his teammates, especially when he’s pitching.

So can someone with such a introverted personality be a leader? When you play the game the way Rodkey does, you certainly can.

The Annville American Legion baseball club looks to Rodkey often for an example, and for guidance. And when it does, Rodkey rarely disappoints.

Last week, Rodkey’s play on the field showed the way, as Annville swept Fredericksburg 2-0 in a Lebanon County American Legion baseball league best-of-three semifinal series. With the series victory, Annville, the runner-up during the regular season, moved on to meet Myerstown in the circuit’s best-of-five Warren ‘Lefty’ Grumbine championship series.

In a 4-1 Game One victory over F-burg, Rodkey twirled a complete-game eight-hitter, fanned five, walked three and knocked in what would prove to be the game-winning run with a two-run dinger to centerfield in the second inning. The following night, Rodkey stroked a key RBI-double during Annville’s four-run top-of-the-eighth-inning rally that sewed up the set.

During the recent school year, Rodkey, who will attempt to make the Arizona State University’s Division One baseball team as a walk-on, led the Annville-Cleona Little Dutchmen to the postseason in two sports – football and baseball.

 – Jeff Falk


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