Lalum named to American Legion all-state team

Lewistown Redbirds earning all-conference honors are (from left) Eric Knox, Tyler Lee, Hunter Schell and Andrew Lalum. Lalum was also selected to the all-state team at the conclusion of the season.                     

Photo courtesy of SharLa Lalum

By: 
Doreen Heintz
Sports Editor

Four of the Lewistown Redbirds American Legion baseball team earned all-conference honors at the end of the season. Hunter Schell and Tyler Lee were pitchers on the all-conference squad, while Andrew Lalum was named to the team as an infielder and Eric Knox earned honors as a utility player for the Birds.
Lalum had a season most baseball players could only dream about to earn all-conference and all-state honors. His ability to get to ground balls from his shortstop position was truly amazing, but where Lalum really excelled was at the plate. He is the first Redbird to hit over .500 for a season. He finished this year with a .502 average. His career batting average of .368 currently ranks him fifth overall.
Besides having a season-leading batting average, Lalum also holds season records for hits with 114, 34 doubles (10 more than the next closest Redbird) and 94 RBIs. He scored 98 runs in 2017, which ranks him second for a season. His 54 walks ranks him third for a single season, while his 41 stolen bases ties him for fourth.
With another season still to play, Lalum is moving up the ladder in many different career categories. He currently ranks fourth in games played with 306 and at bats with 953. His 294 career runs ranks him third, while his 226 RBIs puts him in fourth place. Lalum already sits in second place in career doubles with 81. His career batting average of .368 ranks him fifth all-time.
Although he did not receive all-conference honors as a pitcher, Lalum did have an outstanding year on the mound for the Redbirds. Lalum led the team in wins this year with 11 and had only three losses. He started 13 games and pitched a total of 73 2/3 innings. He only gave up 30 earned runs to finish the season with a 2.85 ERA. In his 73 2/3 innings, Lalum struck out 95 batters, while only walking 50.
All-conference performer Lee came back to play for the Redbirds after his first year of college, and now holds a bevy of career records, both on the mound and at bat. Lee pitched 81 1/3 innings for Lewistown this year, giving up 45 earned runs for an ERA of 3.87. He started 14 games for the Birds to finish the season with a 9-5 record and one save. During his 81 1/3 innings, Lee walked 39 batters and struck out 54.
Probably more impressive are Lee’s career marks for the Redbirds. Lee is the career leader for games played for Lewistown with 329. He also leads in career games pitched with 84 and innings pitched 402. Lee leads all Redbirds in career wins on the mound with 42. His career ERA ranks him fourth over-all. During his career, Lee struck out 310 batters to rank third all time.
At the plate, Lee was equally impressive during his Redbird career. He has the most career at bats with 1,059. He is also the career leader in doubles with 97. Lee’s 383 career hits rank him third, while 277 RBIs rank him second all time. He finished with a career batting average of .362 to rank seventh. 
On the mound, Schell led the Redbirds with a 2.03 ERA this season. His ERA stood at less than 2.00 until the state tournament. In 15 starts and 79 1/3 innings, Schell gave up only 23 earned runs. He also struck out 34 batters, while walking 28. He ended the season with a 9-6 win-loss record.
Schell also had a remarkable year at the plate for the Redbirds, finishing the season with a .433 batting average, which is seventh best for a season of any Redbird. Also during the season, Schell scored 77 runs, had 93 hits, including 19 doubles, and had 73 RBIs.
In his final year of baseball for the Redbirds, Knox also had a banner year in the field, on the mound and at bat. He has been the regular centerfielder for the Birds for the past five seasons, and according to Coach Scott Sparks, “can get to balls hit his direction with uncanny ability.”
As the leadoff hitter for Lewistown, Knox hit .347 for the season. He was very good about getting on base with 83 hits in his 239 at bats. Knox scored 88 runs during the season. He also walked 46 times, while only striking out 22 times, giving him an on-base percentage of .470. On the base paths, Knox stole 35 bases.
Knox started 10 games on the mound for the Birds and pitched 57 2/3 innings. He gave up 25 earned runs to finish this season with a 3.03 ERA. His record in 2017 stood at 7-3. Knox struck out 40 batters and walked 29 throughout the season. He also had the distinction of being the winning pitcher in the Redbirds’ first district championship in 11 years.

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