He was honored for being ‘Jake The Rake.’ Yet his biggest contribution may have come as ‘Jake The Snake.’
On Thursday night, Myerstown outfielder Jake Stager received the Jack Bicher Hitting Award as the Lebanon County American Legion baseball league’s best-of-five championship series’ most productive batter. Consistently squaring up ‘his pitch’, Stager collected more safeties than any of his teammates or counterparts in Annville blue.
But Stager may have turned in the play of the entire series, with his legs and nerve. In the bottom of the sixth inning of the opening game in Myerstown, Stager stole home for the only run of his side’s 1-0 victory.
Though it was a struggle the rest of the way, Myerstown never allowed Annville to get even in the series, before ultimately claiming the title, three games to one.
The county championship was Myerstown’s first in 30 summers and propelled it into the the eight-team, double-elimination Region Four American Legion tournament at Fredericksburg’s Earl Wenger Memorial Field.
Stager, who also starred as a member of the Elco football and baseball high school teams, plans to attend Bloomsburg University in the fall and walk on to the Huskies’ Division Two football squad.
– Jeff Falk