Jake Smith’s baseball talents once again landed him an award.


Jake Smith’s baseball talents once again landed him an award.

The 2002 East Peoria Community High School graduate was named the Sunday Morning League Most Valuable Player.

Smith helped his team, Illinois Furniture, win the league title two weeks ago with a sweep of Pitcher Perfect in the best-of-three championship series.

It was Illinois Furniture’s first league championship, and it came against a team that usually wears the crown.

Smith, who was a first-team A.M. League all-star at catcher, did much of his damage on the mound in the final.

After a 1-0 Illinois Furniture win Aug. 11, Smith fired a complete game Aug. 12 in a 3-1 victory that finalized the sweep.

He struck out six and walked only one to gain his eighth win of the season. Smith worked around 10 hits.

Illinois Furniture, which scored all its runs in the sixth inning, had a prominent East Peoria connection.

Smith played at East Peoria, where he was a second-team all-Mid-Illini Conference catcher in ’01 before landing first-team honors the following spring.

As a senior, Smith hit .378 with 10 doubles and a team-high 26 RBI.

He was 4-1 on the mound with a 1.89 earned-run average for a Raiders team that went 24-8.

He played collegiately at Illinois Central College and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

Smith was a member of the East Peoria Scrappers for their lone season in the Central Illinois Collegiate League.

He then embarked on a three-year professional baseball career playing in independent leagues.