Evart baseball team will rely on pitching, defense

EVART — This marks the fourth and final week of Evart baseball practices prior to spring break. The Wildcats return to the practice field on April 14 with hopes of being able to get outdoors and play actual games.

Time will tell on that.

In the meantime, coach Pat Craven is putting together what he hopes will be a strong baseball attack.

Evart has Andrew Race back as a pitcher, who was among the area’s leading hurlers last season.

“We’re excited about having him,” Craven said. “He’s gained quite a lot of strength over last year. We hope for him to have a really good solid year for us.”

Seniors Jared Pattee and Tom Hyde return at shortstop and second base, respectively.

“We look to have a strong defense and a pretty good pitching corps this year,” said Craven, who will also have Pattee, Tre Dyer and Nolan VanOrder to pitch. “We have quite a bit of depth at pitching this year.”

Dyer is also set to see action at first base and VanOrder in center field

Hitting could be a question mark for the Wildcats.

“Jared Pattee did a nice job leading off for us last year,” Craven said. “We’ll look for him to do some of the same stuff. Other than that, we have some holes to fill. I look for Andrew Race to have a good year at the plate. We’ll fill in with some other guys. We’re hoping everybody can improve.

“It’s on-base percentage we’re focusing on this year, not necessarily batting average. We want people on base so we can move them around and score some runs.”

Other returning players include sophomore Chris Imhoff at third base and Adam Zinger at catcher.

‘We basically have to fill in our corners in the outfield and go from there,” Craven said.

The Wildcats were set to play Morley Stanwood at home this Wednesday. Despite the recent warming trend, the status of that game was iffy, which would mean the season likely won’t start until after break when Evart’s at Glen Lake April 16 and at home April 22 with Lake City.