LEWISTOWN - Whether working as a battery or taking some of the top spots in the lineup, Mifflin County's Isaiah Kearns and John Michael Maclay were a tough duo on the baseball diamond this spring.
And this was something notable in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division. Both sophomore Kearns and senior Maclay were honored for their efforts with second-team selections to the Commonwealth Division all-star team.
As a pitcher, Kearns was consistently strong from the mound, but he also brought much to the team offensively with three home runs on the season and the highest batting average on the team.
Sentinel file photo
Mifflin County’s Isaiah Kearns delivers a pitch to catcher John Michael Maclay during a game at Mifflin County High School in Lewistown.
Mifflin County coach Travis Zook said it was beneficial for the underclassman to work with the more experienced Maclay behind the plate.
"I think they work great together as a team," said Zook, further explaining that it was good to see Kearns "working together with a senior like John Michael who is very smart and knows the game well."
A multi-sport athlete, this spring was Maclay's first on the high school baseball team, but his poise both behind the plate and at it never would have given him away.
Maclay led the team in home runs with five, and he had the second highest batting average behind Kearns. Defensively, Zook said he threw out around 70 percent of baserunners who attempted to steal second.
"He was a great guy to have back there. He was solid there every day," Zook said.
Maclay plans to attend Juniata College and to play on the football team. He has also expressed an interest in continuing his baseball career.
Zook said the team will miss both Maclay's athletic contributions, and also his sense of leadership.
For Kearns, two more years of high school baseball await, and Zook is excited to see what the Husky will accomplish in that time.
"He's only going to get better," Zook said, referencing the time Kearns puts in with summer ball.
"It's nice to know as a coach that we've got him coming back," Zook explained.