Nelson looks for banner season at Pine River


LEROY — Skyler Nelson is in his senior season with Pine River baseball and is hoping this year will be extra special, just like it was last spring.

The Bucks were state quarterfinalists last season and got off to a 2-0 start with a sweep over Manistee on Friday to open the season.

Pine River got its first taste of outdoor action last week as the Bucks returned from spring break.

“We’ve done a pretty good job of getting things done that we need to get done being inside,” Nelson said. “We’re pretty young. We only had two seniors. But we’re solid all-around. We’ll be OK.”

It’s Nelson’s fourth baseball season on the high school level and he’ll be a pitcher and shortstop.

“Last year was a little bit different,” he said. “We had a lot of seniors last year. This year, it’s just Brandon (Hoaglund) and I. That’s one of the big differences going into it. We’ll have to lead a little more.”

Nelson anticipates pitching more this season.

“I need to improve more on accuracy, putting the pitch where I want to,” he said. “I think I’m typically a smart pitcher. I don’t think I throw overly fast.”

But as a pitcher, Nelson hopes to outsmart the batters.

“Last year, I (thought) my hitting was strong toward the end,” he said. “I’d like to have a consistent season and hit well.”

Nelson expects the Bucks to be strong in hitting.

“From what I’ve seen in the cage, we should be able to hit the ball pretty well,” he said.

Nelson is expected to play shortstop and catcher when he’s not pitching.

“We have experienced guys,” he said.

The Bucks will play at Reed City Thursday.