Nelson wraps up fourth baseball season at Pine River

LEROY —Skyler Nelson was hoping for a longer post-season for the Pine River Bucks. But in four seasons for Nelson, it was fun while it lasted.

The Bucks won another district title and Nelson, a senior, also was on the squad that won the regionals, last year. He was hoping to do it again but Pine River’s season ended with a 2-1 loss to Morley Stanwood in the regional final.

Nelson pitched and played shortstop.

“I’m pitching more than I ever have,” he said. “I’m enjoying it.”

Nelson probably would have gotten the call in the regional final had the Bucks not lost in the semifinals.

Throughout the season, Nelson discovered that his curveball was working effectively.

“I can control it a lot better,” he said. “Toward the end of the year, I was getting it across the plate better. This year, I picked up where I left off.”

The Bucks stormed to a district title this season despite graduating some key players from a year ago.

“The team this year surprised me a little bit,” Nelson said. “I was expecting to win a lot of games. But I wasn’t expecting our batting to be as good as it was.”

Hitting has been a challenge for the Bucks in recent seasons.

“This year, we have quite a few younger guys, and guys who haven’t played varsity,” Nelson said. “They stepped up and hit the ball really well.”

Winter conditions weren’t conducive for a decent spring season but the Bucks were able to play some good baseball.

“We got a lot of batting practice done inside,” Nelson said. “That’s maybe why our fielding wasn’t so great at the beginning of the year. We weren’t outside for very long.”

Nelson’s confidence was strong during the season as a pitcher. He also played good at shortstop.

“At the beginning of he year, I struggled a little bit because we didn’t get many reps at it because we were inside,” he said. “I was playing really well at shortstop lately.”

Late in the season, Nelson was hitting around .380.

“I’m more of a contact hitter,” he said.

This marked the final varsity season for Nelson, a three-sport athlete.