Evart pitcher expecting another championship season

Michael Lodholtz overcomes slow start to be playing his best baseball

Evart's Michael Lodholtz hopes to be a threat on the basepaths this season.

Evart's Michael Lodholtz hopes to be a threat on the basepaths this season.

File photo

“He is getting better with every outing.” – Josh Johnson

EVART – Michael Lodholtz more than any other athlete at Evart High School likes taking on a new challenge.

The huge challenge this season for Lodholtz, a junior, and his teammates has been replacing a team that won 29 games last season and took conference, district and regional championships.

But with the graduation of All-Staters like Danny Witbeck, the Wildcats have had to fill some huge roles with players such as Lodholtz.

“Michael is our most polished pitcher,” Evart coach Josh Johnson said. “He is getting better with every outing. He's a real solid third baseman, too.”

Lodholtz was a member of the regional team, which went to the state quarterfinals.

“Things went pretty good,” Lodholtz said. “I wound up being a pretty solid third baseman. They pitched me a few times as well.”

Lodholtz is still at third base but has also been doing more pitching this season.

On the mound, earlier in the season, Lodholtz hurt his shoulder but was ready to come back soon after that.

“My strength is definitely my changeup or curveball,” he said. “I can get a lot of break on my curveball. I’ve been messing around with a few different changeup grips as well. They go very well with my fastball.”

At third base, “nothing gets past me,” Lodholtz said. “It’s a matter of either tossing down or getting it into my glove and tossing it over to first. Usually, nothing gets past me.”

Lodholtz’s rifle throws to first base are his trademark.

Lodholtz batted in the mid .300s last year.

“I definitely could have hit a lot better,” he said. “Toward the end of the season I was in a really bad slump and I came back in the quarterfinals.”

Lodholtz worked all summer, fall and winter on his hitting and is expecting higher numbers.

“The key is definitely timing with your pitches,” he said.  “You can face someone going 90 miles an hour and then facing someone going 30 miles an hour slower. That’s one of the toughest things to do in baseball which people don’t talk about.”

Evart started off 2-6.

“We have some new people this year who are pretty fast,” Lodholtz said. “I have high hopes for our speed around the basepaths.”

Lodholtz also wrestles and plays football.

“I definitely like baseball (the most),” he said. “I’ve played it my whole life.”