Pine River baseball team hopes to be a contender

LEROY — Pine River’s baseball team had a chance to see action last week before spring break and scored a 3-0 win over Grant.

Coach Shawn Ruppert and his team return next week and will prepare for a heavy slate of games in April and May.

Practices started on March 13, but many of the players were still involved with the Pine River basketball team in regional action.

“We won’t have a lot of time prior to our first game,” Ruppert said going into the second week.

He was hopeful of spending some time last week outdoors.

But regardless of early-season weather, Ruppert likes the makeup of his team. Staying healthy will be critical since the Bucks battled injuries last season.

“We have a pretty good crew back,” Ruppert said. “We should be pretty good.”

Returnees include Tristen Nelson, Raden Holmes. Matt Stone and Mason Powell, who was injured for most of last year. Bradley Holmes, Andrew Park and Luke Hill also return.

“They all started at one time last year,” Ruppert said.

The season is set to resume next week with a non-league doubleheader at Reed City on April 7. The following week, the Bucks are set to have games April 10 at home with Mancelona and April 13 at Gladwin. There also are home games April 17 with Manistee and April 19 with Big Rapids.

The Highland Conference season starts April 25 at home with Marion.