Honesdale's own Jake Schilling is putting up big numbers on the collegiate diamond
Former Honesdale High School baseball star Jake Schilling has spent the past two years taking his game to the next level.
A perennial Lackawanna League all star during his playing days with the Hornets, Schilling recently put the finishing touches on a stellar stint at Sullivan County Community College
Jake tore the cover off the ball as a freshman, batting .396 and leading the team in many offensive categories.
He picked up right where he left off this year, hitting .373 and earning high marks from his mentor.
"Jake is a coach's dream," Generals skipper Jared Carrier said. "He's what we call a low maintenance, high performance player.
"Jake leads by example on the field. He has an outstanding work ethic and his baseball IQ is pretty much off the chart."
In addition to playing collegiately, Schilling has also enjoyed three brilliant seasons as a member of the Sullivan Generals summer league squad.
Based in Loch Sheldrake, the Generals are a wood bat team that competes in the Hudson Valley Collegiate Baseball League.
Carrier is also the head coach of this ballclub and has nothing but positive things to say about Jake's output there as well.
"As far as offense goes, Jake is unmatched in our line-up," he said. "He hits for average and power and rarely has a bad at-bat."
Over the course of his rookie wood bat campaign in 2011, Schilling posted a superb .352 average.
Jake returned to the Spartans in 2012 and amped up the offense even more. He batted .439, homered twice, rapped 17 doubles and two triples, drove in 35 runs and scored 20 more.
"Jake started off as a lead-off hitter, but he's hit everything from one to four in our line-up," said Coach Carrier. "I've seen him bat maybe 300-400 times now and it seems like he hits a line drive every time up."
Defensively, Schilling has contributed at every position around the infield diamond. He played a big chunk of games at first and third, but also saw time at second and short.
In addition, Jake even played well during a short stint in leftfield.
"I hesitate to use the word utility when I talk about Jake ... he's more like a 'super-utility player," said Coach Carrier.
"Jake is such a good all-round player, you can plug him in just about anywhere and he'll do well."
Schilling made everyone sit up and take notice during his first two years in the Hudson Valley League.
So, when Jake closed out a third sensational season this past summer, coaches were quick to name him the Most Valuable Player.
His 2013 numbers were every bit as impressive as those he put up in '12.
Schilling batted a robust .425 with three homers, eight doubles and three triples. He collected 22 RBIs, scored 30 runs, stole six bases and posted an OPS of 1.123.
While these totals are borderline extraordinary, they don't surprise Brian Gillow one bit.
Honesdale's veteran high school coach makes no bones about his belief that Jake has the tools and the desire to take his game even further.
"Two of the things I love best about Jake are his work ethic and competitiveness," Coach Gillow said.
"He'll do absolutely anything to make himself a better baseball player and help his team win. Jake is a very smart player at the plate and in the field. He always knows what to do in any situation."
Jake is the son of Tom & Nancy Schilling, Honesdale
His future plans include taking his diamond career to an even higher level.
"Jake isn't the kind of player who will wow you in a showcase situation," said Coach Carrier.
"But, if you watch him for three or four games in a row, you won't hesitate to pencil him into your starting line-up. He's just that good."