Pine River pitcher earns all-state first-team honors

LEROY — Greg Park finished his baseball career at Pine River and is now focusing on his college future.

But his senior season with the Bucks was a memorable one.

Park, who is playing summer baseball with the Grand Rapids Starz traveling team, was named to the first-team of the Division 3 all-state squad selected by the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association.

Park was selected as a pitcher, while another area player, Morley Stanwood  sophomore catcher Nic Huntey, was named to the Division 3 all-state second team.

Park was 11-2 with one save in 66 innings, 1.11 ERA.

“I believe I ended the season with around 40 more strikeouts than last year,” Park said. “I was over 100. There’s a couple of losses that shouldn’t have happened. Overall, I felt I had a successful season.”

“He was one of the best pitchers in the area,” Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert said. “He had consistent effort and control throughout the season.”

The Bucks finished at 32-4.

“I thought our season went really well,” Park said. 

Huntey led Morley Stanwood with a .448 batting average and contributed 33 RBIs, 37 runs scored, 47 hits, 15 extra base hits and 22 stolen bases.

Pine River and Morley Stanwood both won district titles and were eliminated in the regional. Both teams lost to Muskegon Oakridge — Pine River in the regional semifinal and Morley Stanwood in the final.

Park said he would compare Oakridge to Beal City, which swept the Bucks during the regular season.

Oakridge “was definitely a beatable team,” Park said. “They played A-grade baseball and we played B-grade.”

Park allowed three first-inning runs in the 4-1 loss.

“I give credit to their batters,” Park said. “They did a good job and I didn’t throw my best game.”

He reports Aug. 24 for the first day of school and will participate in MCC’s fall ball program.

Park’s summer team in Grand Rapids plays every weekend.

I’m working to get my arm stronger,” he said. “I want to throw harder than I did in high school. So far, I’ve been throwing pretty hard.”