Schachle named 2017 South Penn League MVP

Cashtown Pirates outfielder Chris Schachle has been named 2017 South Penn League Most Valuable Player, South Penn League Commissioner Parker Lerew annouced Wednesday. Voting for the regular season awards, which includes Most Valuable Player, Most Outstanding Pitcher, and Outstanding Young Player, took place Monday evening at the league's year-end meeting.

Schachle, whose .442 batting average was second in the league, led the SPL in hits (38), doubles (10), and RBIs (28). He ranked in the top five in several other categories including runs scored (24), total bases, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Finishing second in MVP voting was Hanover's Andrew Burke who, in his first SPL season, had the league's third highest batting average (.437). He was second to Schachle in RBIs with 25 and ranked in the top 10 in several other offensive categories. On the mound, Burke had the league's lowest ERA (0.57) and was second in strikeouts (50). Bigleville's Travis Byers finished third in the MVP voting. Byers tied for the league lead in home runs (6), tied Burke for second with Burke in RBIs (25), was fourth in hits (30) and was ninth in batting average (.411).

The voting for Most Outstanding Pitcher ended in a tie, with Burke and New Oxford's Alex Emlet sharing honors. Along with his league-leading ERA of 0.57 and 50 total strikeouts, Burke had a 5-1 record. Emlet sported an impressive 9-0 regular season record in 10 starts. He led the league in wins and innings pitched (59), his ERA (1.54) ranked third, and he finished fourth with 39 strikeouts. New Oxford's Anthony Lippy finished third in the voting. The two-time defending winner of the Outstanding Pitcher award, Lippy led the league in strikeouts (54), was second to Burke in ERA (0.92), and had a 4-2 record.

The Outstanding Young Player - awarded to the best player age 22 or younger - will also be shared in 2017, as Hanover's Austin Kibler and Cashtown's Zach Ketterman finished tied in this year's voting. Kibler led the league in batting average (.455) and on-base percentage (.538). He was third in slugging percentage, and fifth in stolen bases (8). Kibler also had success on the mound, finishing with the fifth most strikeouts (35) and a 4-2 record. Ketterman, 16, had the fourth-best batting average (.436) while ranking in the top 10 in on-base percentage and stolen bases. The soon-to-be high school sophomore also earned praise from the league's managers for his defensive prowess at shortstop. Finishing third in voting was Biglerville's Tanner Byers.

Commissioner Lerew also announced that the winner of the 2017 John R. "Dick" Meckley Sportsmanship Award, as voted on by the league's umpires, will be given to the league champion Cashtown Pirates. It was the 10th time in the 12-year history of the award that Cashtown has been so honored.