Evart splits doubleheader

Donovin Duncan fires a pitch for Evart.
Donovin Duncan fires a pitch for Evart.

EVART – It was a doubleheader split but Evart baseball coach Josh Johnson saw many things he liked as his team split a doubleheader with Montabella on Tuesday in Mount Pleasant 16U Colt League action.

The Wildcats gained strong offensive and defensive contributions from varsity players Danny Witbeck and Nate Sochocki, plus new faces such as Donovin Duncan and Nolan Theunick.

Evart won the opener 10-2 and lost the second game 3-1.

“I pitched three guys tonight who haven’t pitched in a long time,” Johnson said. “They pitched pretty good. I had a couple of next year’s freshmen and eighth graders. We’re young.”

Witbeck’s coming off a huge spring high school season. He’s been among the Evart players on the Mount Pleasant 16U American Legion team along with Reese Ransom, Nate Sochocki and Pierce Johnson.

Several Evart players are also on an 18U American Legion team, along with Justin O’Dell, Ty Sochocki and Donavin Reagan.

“That’s been going good,” Witbeck said. “It’s been good playing with all the guys down there.”

Witbeck was the winning pitcher in a 5-inning mercy rule win, 9-1, over the Quad City Storm earlier this month.

“I just want to get better all the way around and constantly improve,” Witbeck said. “I want to control the fastball and work on the change-up more.”

On hitting improvement, “you just have to be confident going up there,” he said, “and feeling you’re going to hit the ball.”

Evart plays at Clare on Thursday in more Colt League action.

The final home Evart summer game is on July 9.

“You have to make sure you’re playing some summer ball,” Johnson told his players afterwards. “You have to be able to bat against guys throwing 55 miles an hour just as well as those throwing 80 miles an hour. Baseball is a game of adjustments.”