LEROY — It’s not exactly baseball weather right now.

But baseball is what Pine River’s Devin Ruppert had on his mind Wednesday (Jan. 16).

Ruppert, a senior three-sport athlete at Pine River, signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Muskegon Community College.

A catcher for Pine River, Ruppert threw out 11 would-be base stealers during the 2012 season. He batted .314 with 23 RBIs and made the 2012 Pioneer Dream Team and all-Highland Conference first team.

Ruppert also pitched for the Bucks last season and was 6-1 with a 1.07 earned run average.

“That was the only school that sought me out personally,” Ruppert said of Muskegon Community College. “They sought me out personally. They called me (last fall) and wanted to set up meeting to talk about it.”

Ruppert visited the school in the fall.

”For me, I knew my best sport was probably baseball,” Ruppert said. “That was the one I wanted to play college in. I did have a good football season. I was thinking about playing football somewhere. But then Muskegon called me and it was a no-brainer for me.”

Academically, Ruppert plans on getting general education courses taken care of as he decides on a major.

“After that, I’m looking to get something in the medical field,” he said.

Ruppert acknowleged that after two years at MCC, he would hope to transfer to a four-year college.

Attending the signing ceremonies was MCC’s coach Cap Pohlman.

“I saw him play last year,” Pohlman said. “I’ve known about him and got the opportunity to see him play. I think he has a big up side. He throws the ball well. He’s obviously very athletic. I think he can become a real good hitter. It’s an adjustment for every high school kid. I think he can handle it. He’s a good athlete. Everybody that I’ve talked to say what a great kid he is. That’s even more important.”

Ruppert also played football for the Bucks and is presently a starter on the undefeated basketball team.

Pohlman right now is looking to use Ruppert as a catcher when the Pine River season prepares for the 2014 collegiate baseball season.

“If we have a need someplace else...we have a bunch of guys that are swinging the bat well, we’ll find a place for him,” Pohlman said, adding that Ruppert will be getting some athletic aid.

Ruppert joins a program that has had astounding success in recent seasons.

“We won 44 games three years ago, 42 two years ago and a little less last year, 30,” Pohlman said. “We had mostly freshmen last year so we feel good about this year.”

MCC started baseball practices last week and will take a trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. prior to the start of the season.

After basketball season ends, Ruppert will begin to prepare for his senior season of baseball with Pine River. His dad, Shawn Ruppert, is the baseball coach.

But when that season ends, Devin Ruppert will be getting ready for MCC and college baseball.

“I’ll be playing somewhere where they wanted me to play for them,” he said. “They wanted me from the very start.”