LEROY — Pine Rivers’ 15-and-under baseball team has been keeping busy in recent weeks.

Last Wednesday, the Bucks lost to Benzie Central 9-3 at home.

Benzie scored one run in the first, two in the fourth, one in the sixth, two in the seventh and three in the eighth.

Pine River’s first three runners, Mason Powell, Dylan Loop and Luke Harris scored and that was it. All three had base hits. Harris had an RBI. Grant Ruppert also had a base hit and RBI.

Grant Ruppert pitched the first three innings allowed one run and struck out four. Luke Harris pitched the next four innings and allowed four runs and Payton Pacola pitched the last inning.

“It’s a 15-and-under league and Benzie had to bring some older kids because they didn’t have enough people,” said Pine River coach Brent Ruppert. “Against a varsity pitcher, they played tough. They’re learning. We’re making mistakes but learning on the job. Lot of these kids will be freshmen. We’re young but they did a good job.

Ruppert is the high school JV coach, His cousin Shawn is the varsity coach.

Pine River will play at Benzie July 24 and is set to play around that same time at home with Tri County. The game with Benzie will wrap up the summer season.

“Almost a lot of them are in other sports,” Ruppert said. “A lot of them are doing football training right now. A lot just got done with basketball camp. To have 14 kids (for baseball), I think that’s pretty good. We’re traveling a long ways to play games. It’s good for the kids. They enjoy it. They want to play baseball.”

The Bucks lost 10-5 at Brethren on Thursday.

Matt Goodenow pitched three innings for the Bucks while Cody Lambert and Grant Ruppert also saw some action.

Tristian Nelson had two hits. Steven Hilkowski, Grant Ruppert and Hunter Esiline also had hits. Hilkowski and Ruppert had RBIs and Esiline scored a run.

“I threw kids that hadn’t pitched in awhile,” said Brent Ruppert said. “It’s a learning experience.”