2017-07-17 / Sports

Forever champions

Lakeview Junior leaguers beat Sharpsville for District 2 title
By DUSTIN FOX


SANDY LAKE TOWNSHIP — The 2017 District 2 Junior League champion Lakeview players and coaches pose with the District 2 pennant after beating Sharpsville 16-4 on Saturday at the Lakeview High School field. 
Rich Reed/R-A SANDY LAKE TOWNSHIP — The 2017 District 2 Junior League champion Lakeview players and coaches pose with the District 2 pennant after beating Sharpsville 16-4 on Saturday at the Lakeview High School field. Rich Reed/R-A SANDY LAKE TOWNSHIP — The Lakeview Junior League All-Star team, a team that has been playing together since the kids were about seven years old, finally took the top spot in the District 2 tournament.

Lakeview’s 16-4 win over Sharpsville Saturday put the team in the history books.

“We told them before the game, ‘If you win this, no one can ever take it away from you, and 20 years from now, you can look back and tell your kids about it,’” Lakeview manager James Partridge said.

And it has been a tough road as this team has grown through the ranks of the different Little League divisions. The group has come close to a District 2 title but has never won one.


SANDY LAKE TOWNSHIP — In Saturday’s Junior League District 2 title game at Lakeview High school (above) Lakeview’s Kendall Crocker steals home against Sharpsville; (at right) Lakeview’s Kyle Uber awaits the throw on a steal attempt. 
Rich Reed/R-A SANDY LAKE TOWNSHIP — In Saturday’s Junior League District 2 title game at Lakeview High school (above) Lakeview’s Kendall Crocker steals home against Sharpsville; (at right) Lakeview’s Kyle Uber awaits the throw on a steal attempt. Rich Reed/R-A “There have been some really close chances — been to the semifinals three out of the last four years,” Partridge said. “They’ve played a lot of baseball together and have been so close.”

These kids have won some tournaments over the years, through various divisions, including the West Middlesex and Mercer tournaments. However, they have never won anything as big as the District 2 tournament. No Lakeview team has in nearly 20 years, according to Partridge. Other teams have been to the title game but none have won.

“I honestly thought we had the best team in previous years,” Partridge said, “but we just couldn’t pull it off.

“I’m happy for the kids.”

And happy for the Lakeview. Partridge, along with coaches Bill Beith and Rick Reither, are Lakeview graduates.

“It’s nice seeing these kids coming back through and having success,” Partridge said.

The Lakeview All-Stars’ win on Saturday came with 16 hits and 16 runs in five innings. They scored 10 runs in the first inning alone.

Trent Milliren led with three hits, including two doubles, and Brandon Partridge and Jared Obreza added three hits each, including one double apiece. Luke Bobosky had three singles, Bryson Reither had two hits, including a double and Kyle Uber and Kendall Crocker each had a single.

Milliren and Obreza pitched Lakeview to the win.

Throughout the tournament Lakeview was 4-0 and outscored its opponents 43- 8. But the team it beat in the championship was also the one that nearly sent Lakeview into the losers’ bracket, where a team can easily use up its best arms, according to Partridge.


SANDY LAKE TOWNSHIP — In Saturday’s Junior League District 2 title game at Lakeview High School, Lakeview starter Trent Milliren delivers to home against Sharpsville. 
Rich Reed/R-A SANDY LAKE TOWNSHIP — In Saturday’s Junior League District 2 title game at Lakeview High School, Lakeview starter Trent Milliren delivers to home against Sharpsville. Rich Reed/R-A “We started off sluggish the first game — I think it was nerves,” he said. “I think, in the first game, we had seven strike outs.”

Partridge said Sharpsville put its best pitcher on the mound in the first game and he only gave up two runs, but Lakeview only gave up one to win and advance.

“We hit a lot in batting practice over the (next few days after that) to get ready for the next game,” he said. “In the second game we only had three strike outs, and in the next two games, I think we only had one each game.”

Lakeview’s pitching, hitting and defense were all good as they moved through the tournament.

“The rest of the games, we put up a lot of runs (14 against West Middlesex and 11 against Sharon),” Partridge said. “The kids did a great job.”

He said the kids and coaches put a lot of time in practice into winning the District 2 title.

“As coaches we can strategize, but the players are the ones who have to go out there and execute,” he said. “They wanted it and worked hard to get it.”

Now that the Lakeview All-Stars have won the title, the work is not over. They will begin the section tournament on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Lakeview High School field.

Return to top