Evart baseball team drops first two games of the season

EVART — Evart baseball coach Josh Johnson saw enough in two games to confirm his inkling that pitching and defense might be two issues the Wildcats need to address early in the season.

The Wildcats opened with 16-6 and 16-7 losses to Charlevoix in a season-opening doubleheader on Saturday. Both games went six innings.

Charlevoix built a 15-0 lead after two at bats in the second game before the Wildcats came back to cut the lead.

Colin Smith was the winning pitcher in the first game and Colin Davis got the win in the second game for the Rayders.

“I was happy with how we did,” Charlevoix coach Nick Vuillemot said. “We haven’t seen the outdoors very much. We’ve been inside a lot. I thought we played well, but we have a long way to go.”

For Evart, Layne Nadig took the loss in the first game. Billy Conklin had a single, double and two RBIs, while Jonah Smith had a single and two RBIs. Carter Pritchard added an RBI. Contributing one single were Karsten Allen, Hakan Karakoyan and Cameron Martin.

“We have a lot to work on,” Johnson said, “especially pitching and defense. Pitching we may struggle this year, but we’ll get better. Defensively, we should be good. We should have been good Saturday and we weren’t.”

“It was our first games,” Allen said. “We’re still trying to figure out a rhythm. Toward the end we’ll get better.”

Wil Weinberg was the losing pitcher in the second game. Allen had two singles and two RBIs. Conklin had a single and an RBI. Martin added an RBI.

Allen is playing center field for the Wildcats.

“I cover a lot of ground out there,” he said. “I think I’ll be pretty good in hitting the ball. It’s better mechanics at the plate, definitely. You have to keep your head level.”

Evart is home Thursday against Maple City Glen Lake.