Pine River 15-and-under baseball team set for action

LEROY — It’s a good part of the summer for baseball weather-wise, but Pine River coaches also realize it’s challenging to get in game-time with some of the other sports that demand time of their athletes.

Brent Ruppert is coaching the Pine River 15-and-under team that is a junior varsity level baseball squad of sorts during the summer. 

Pine River plays July 2 at Benzie Central, July 11 at Onekama, July 17 at home with Manistee and July 21 home vs. Onekama.

“I was trying to get another game with Tri County but haven’t been able to schedule that,” Ruppert said. “We started late this year. I had a tournament the last weekend in June to get four or six games in. But with football and basketball and everything else, it’s hard to get games in. Kids have basketball camps and shootouts, football camps and passing leagues. You’re trying to schedule around all of that and it is hard if you play three sports. We’re trying to do the best we can.

“I’m thinking with the tournament we play in Manistee the last weekend in June, we’ll have 8-to-10 games in, which is decent for these kids.”

His players are mostly freshmen for next season or sophomores. They’ve also had various practice times.

“There’s a football camp in July, plus driver’s training. It’s just busy,” Ruppert said.

The varsity team has three nine-inning games scheduled for the summer: this Thursday at home with Reed City, July 2 at Evart and July 9 at Frankfort.