McDonald set for final year of baseball at Pine River
LEROY — Mitchell McDonald has entered his final season of his last sport during a stellar four-year athletic career at Pine River.
He completed his careers in football and basketball, and has already started his senior season with the Bucks baseball squad. He was with Pine River in 2013 when the team went to the state quarterfinals.
McDonald was happy with the 2014 season, which included a district title.
“It’s hard to top what we did my sophomore year because we went to the quarters,” McDonald said. “Last year we did good. We lost two really good seniors (Skyler Nelson and Brandon Hoaglund). That’s our shortstop and center fielder. Skyler pitched for us, and so did Brandon. That’s two huge bats for us, our second and third hitter. Last year was fun.”
The Bucks have started out 3-0.
“This year is kind of like basketball,” McDonald said. “We have (several) returners, plus a lot of new faces. I’m not real familiar with how they play.”
McDonald has been at shortstop and has seen some catching action. He’s also slated to pitch.
“Center field is where I played my sophomore year,” he said. “We have a lot of guys who can play center field.”
“As a fielder, I have a quick release,” McDonald said. “My arm is OK. I can get it out of my glove fast.
McDonald hit .380 last season.
“It’d be nice to bump it up to .400,” he said. “I have a tendency to swing at bad pitches. I have to be more picky.”
McDonald is excited with his team’s potential.
“We have the pitching, we’ve got the bats, we’ve got the fielding,” he said. “We’re usually pretty consistent in baseball. Coach (Shawn) Ruppert is a phenomenal coach.”
The Bucks returned from spring break this week.
Pine River is at Manistee Wednesday and at the Cadillac tournament Saturday.