McKinstry, VanOrder getting job done for Evart baseball team

EVART — Jake McKinstry and Jarek VanOrder have been contributing to Evart’s baseball attack in unique ways and hope to take the momentum into the upcoming postseason.

McKinstry, a junior, is in his second varsity season.

“Things went good,” he said. “I played a little second base and I also played in the districts. I’m getting better as the years went on. My hitting is a lot better. I’m starting to get used to varsity pitching.”

His fastball and curveball have combined to give McKinstry a strong one-two punch on the mound.

At second base, “I have a good glove and I’ve been making accurate throws,” he said.

McKinstry has also been contributing some key hits for the Wildcats.

“You need to keep your weight back and try to figure out what kind of a pitch it is,” he said.

A highlight for McKinstry and his teammates was a recent 11-inning victory over Marion.

A three-sport athlete, VanOrder has also played football and basketball.

“I’m doing good,” VanOrder said. “I’m hitting the ball, I believe, and I’m fielding pretty decently.”

VanOrder is at third base in his senior season.

“I’m an average third baseman,” he said. “I make the normal plays. My best part, I think, is charging (the ball) and being able, on a bunt, to get it to first base in time.”

VanOrder has played outfield in the past but likes the action he sees at third base. Offensively, he’s been hitting the ball.

“I’ve had a couple of games where I’ve hit well,” he said. “It’s the experience.”

The Wildcats are heading into the final weeks of the Highland Conference regular season with districts set for June 2.

“I think we’re playing good when we’re focused,” VanOrder said. “When we’re throwing strikes, we’re tough to beat.”

McKinstry also likes his team’s potential.

“We’ve been playing pretty good,” he said. “We’ve been inconsistent at times. We need to limit errors and try not to walk too many people.”

McKinstry is hoping the Wildcats will prove to be a dangerous team in the remaining weeks of the season.

“We definitely want to be on top of conference, top two or three teams,” he said. “We’d like to be right there to compete for our district championship.”