By Harold Raker
The Daily Item
More often than not in baseball, like in most sports, he who works the hardest reaps the biggest rewards.
Throughout the 2013 American Legion baseball season, center fielder Shane Connahan, playing for the West Snyder Erman E. Lepley Post 23, was one of those who worked at his game.
Those efforts led the Midd-West High School senior to have one of the best seasons of any player in the Susquehanna Valley and West Branch leagues, and resulted in his selection as The Daily Item Richard "Gus" Misavage Most Valuable Player Award.
Connahan, son of Charlie and Marla Connahan, of Beaver Springs, still has one more high school baseball season left, and then he will take his talents south to Murfreesboro, Tenn., where he will play for Division I Middle Tennessee State.
In 19 games this past Legion season, Connahan batted .532 (25-of-47) with an on-base percentage of .676. He scored 16 runs, had five doubles, three triples and seven RBIs. He drew 19 walks and was hit by pitch twice.
In addition, Connahan stole 16 bases and did not strike out once.
West Snyder manager Chris Combs was not surprised at the outstanding season Connahan had this year. "Shane has over the years been the hardest working (player) at baseball that I've seen in a young man. He was constantly working before practice and after games or after practices, working on his game, hitting and fielding.
"He is very dedicated to it," he said.
Connahan, who also plays middle infield, said his goal has always been to play college baseball, especially Division I.
He used to play basketball and golf, but, although he still occasionally plays golf, baseball is the sport to which he has devoted his full attention.
"I enjoy the whole game. I love everything about it," he said.