Evart, Pine River have big night of baseball

Evart to host 15U tournament on July 23

EVART – Evart and Pine River baseball teams continue their busy summer with the highlight expected to be a 15U tourney at Evart later this month.

Wildcat coach Josh Johnson was especially ecstatic on Wednesday in a doubleheader with McBain and Pine River that he was able to field two 10-man teams to get in some playing time.

“We had two Evart teams,” Johnson said. “I’m so proud of our kids for doing that. We had another area team that was coming bail out as our fourth team for this. So I contacted all my kids in the program and put together two teams. I’m excited about that. We had 10 teams over there (JV field) and 10 here (varsity field).

“I tried to make two pretty even teams. I have some seniors mixed in with incoming freshmen. We won the first game against McBain and a close game and lost to Evart in a close one. It was good baseball all night.”

Returning players Logan Witbeck, Michael Buchholtz and Riley Ransom were among the contributors for Evart.

There will be four teams at Evart next Wednesday with Pine River, Lake City and McBain. The 15U tournament is on July 23 at Evart featuring mainly incoming freshmen and sophomores.

Pine River is being coached by Devin Ruppert, who was an assistant for the high school team.

The Bucks have had some practices, he said, but it was their first time for a summer contest.

“We’re getting a lot of young guys in,” Ruppert said.

Pine River defeated one of the Evart teams 4-3 and lost to the other one 6-0.

“We’ve got eight freshmen and our freshmen played very well,” Ruppert said. “It was good to see them take on some varsity competition.”

Returning players who have seen competition include Dan Leydet, Tim Gum, Braeden Larr and Jake Smith.