LEROY – One solid effort wasn’t enough for the Pine River Bucks on Saturday.
The host Bucks opened the Division 3 district tournament with a 6-2 win over Hart.
But in the title game against Reed City, after Pine River got off to a 1-0 lead, the Bucks were overwhelmed by the pitching of Hunter Morrison and fell 11-1. Luke Hill was the winning pitcher in the opener in six innings of work.
The Bucks took advantage of sloppy Hart defense, which made seven errors. The Pine River offense had just two hits with a double from Andrew Park.
Reed City ended the game in the bottom of the sixth with Brandon Wirth’s 2-run single. Park had an RBI double and Lane Ruppert a single for the Bucks. Dustin Marks was the losing pitcher.
“The first game, Luke threw well and we pitched well,” Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert said. “We hit the ball nicely. The second game, we got off to a bad first inning. They started rolling. I’ve never seen so many bloop hits. We also walked a lot of guys. You can’t do that against Reed City.”
Morrison, Ruppert added, “is probably the second best pitcher we’ve seen all year. He’s good.”
Bucks’ final record was 21-9.
“It’s a lot better than I think a lot of people thought these guys were going to do,” Ruppert said. “We didn’t have a lot of seniors coming back. They did a nice job. We definitely didn’t have the pitching we normally have. They gutted out a lot of wins. I was happy.”