Pine River baseball team ties with Benzie Central

LEROY — Pine River’s 15-and-under baseball team is having a busy July so far.

Last week, coach Brent Ruppert’s team played at Benzie Central and wound up in a 5-5 tie. The game was called because of darkness.

Pine River jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Benzie rallied to force a tie.

“We played in a tournament (the previous) weekend, but we played a lot better (against Benzie),” Ruppert said. 

Raden Holmes and Tristan Nelson threw six combined scoreless innings.

“I pitched a couple of different kids the last inning and they had a couple of bloop hits,” Ruppert said. “We had a couple of miscues in the field. But we played a pretty clean game. I had a couple of young kids playing with me who will be middle schoolers. They played really well also.

“My son Lane, who is going to be an eighth grader, led our offense with two hits. He did really well. Tristan, Raden, Mac Peterson, Matt Stone and Blaine Kamptner all had one hit each.”

Earlier this month, Pine River played in a tournament at Manistee and was 1-3. Frankfort won the tourney.

“We were in every game,” Ruppert said. “The game we won was 14-13. The games we lost, we were ahead in each game, We didn’t have enough pitching to get us through it. We hit the ball well during the weekend.”

Grant Ruppert was 5-for 11 with eight RBIs during the tournament. Kamptner was 6-for-10 with six RBIs, and was a tournament MVP. Holmes and Peterson also hit the ball well.

Maddox Hoaglund, who is from McBain, played for Pine River, and hit the ball well. He’s a cousin of former Pine River standout Brandon Hoaglund.

This Friday, Pine River plays at Onekama. Home games are July 17 with Manistee and July 22 with Onekama. Game time is 6:30 p.m.