Five Wildcats earn honors

EVART — Four Evart Wildcats were named to the all-Highland Conference baseball team announced recently while another player was on the honorable mention list.

First-team honors went to Preston Boyd, Tyler Mishler, Jarek VanOrder and Josh Wirth.

Boyd, a catcher, hit .379 and stole 14 bases. He threw out 61 percent baserunners attempting to steal.

“He did a good job behind the plate,” Evart coach George Sims said. “He got better defensively. He did a better job of blocking balls at the plate.”

Tyler Mishler, a senior, was on the mound for 42.2 innings and had 59 strikeouts plus 29 walks with a 4-2 record and 2.16 ERA.

From a junior to senior, “Tyler was physically stronger,” Evart coach George Sims said. “He was able to get batters out with his fastball and that made his curveball effective.”

Jarek VanOrder, a junior third baseman, was voted the team’s MVP. He batted .453 with a .580 on base percentage.

“He always found a way to get on base,” Sims said. “ He had the lowest strikeout percentage on the team.”

Wirth, a senior, had a 6-2 record on the mound with 59 strikeouts and 30 walks. He had an ERA at 4.42. “He improved his hitting which was a big plus for us,” said Evart coach George Sims. “He hit .296. He was a smart kid on the basepaths.”

Matt Mishler batted .348 for the Wildcats.

“His biggest attribute to us was his baserunning,” Sims said. “He never got thrown out all year stealing. There’s not too many players I coached that have a feel for running the bases. He’s the only kid I’ve had the last three years who doesn’t necessarily need a third base coach. He knows his own speed and what he can do.”

Evart took third in the conference behind first-place Beal City and second-place Pine River.