Pine River falls to Beal City baseball

LEROY — The calls didn’t go Pine River’s way Friday night and the Bucks fell short in their bid to upend two-time Division 4 state baseball champion Beal City in Highland Conference action.

The Aggies won the first game 12-0 in five innings and the second game 5-3.

Beal City had scored three runs the bottom of the sixth to take a 5-2 lead in the second game.

The Bucks loaded the bases with no outs the top of the seventh. Ryan Rasmussen had previously stroked an RBI single to make it 5-3. Devin Ruppert smacked a line drive down the third baseline and two runs would have been able to score to tie the game.

The umpires ruled the ball was foul. Ruppert struck out as did Nick Warner on a called third strike which Pine River coaches thought was low enough to be ball four.

A ground out ended the game.

Warner took the loss for the Bucks, allowing nine hits and two walks while striking out one. Jay Warner was the winning hurler for the Aggies.

Nick Warner had two hits for Pine River which also got one hit apiece from seven individual batters.

“The second game, some calls didn’t go our way,” said Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert. “We had the game at least tied with a double down the line and they said it was foul. Some things didn’t go our way. But we waited the last two innings before we started hitting the ball.”

In the first game, Lincoln Erickson took the loss for the Bucks, going four innings, striking out three, allowing nine hits and walking four. Erickson had a double and Kanouse and Wilkins added singles for Pine River.

Pine River fell to 2-2 in the league.

Beal City is 12-2 overall and 4-0 in the Highland.

“Beal City is a very good team,” Ruppert said. “The first game, we just gave up. We had too many errors and a lot of guys put their heads down after they scored a couple.”

Pine River was 2-0 at its home invitational on Saturday. The Bucks, 11-4 overall, beat St. Louis 9-1 in the first game. Devin Rupert was the winning pitcher, fanning 10 batters in five innings. Warner had a home run and three RBIs.

Pine River beat Central Montcalm in the second game 9-5. Skyler Nelson took the win, allowing four hits and fanning four batters.

Isaac Wilkins had two hits for the Bucks.