Pine River places five players on all-conference baseball team

LEROY — Pine River’s baseball team finished runner-up this season in the Highland Conference to the eventual Division 4 state runners-up in Beal City.

For their efforts, the Bucks landed four players on the all-conference first team and one on the honorable mention list.

First-team players included Brandon Hoaglund, Lucas Harris, Mitch McDonald and Skyler Nelson while Greg Park made the honorable mention list. Hoaglund and Nelson are seniors while the other three are juniors.

Hoaglund played center field, and batted .340 with 29 RBIs. He was 5-0 on the mound.

“Brandon Hoaglund, I thought, was our most consistent player,” Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert said. “He led us in steals and was right there in hitting. He got some big hits for us during the year. He also pitched a lot this year.”

Harris batted .340 with 22 RBIs.

“Lucas, I thought, really improved as the year went on,” Ruppert said. “He got a lot stronger. He played third base and first base. He got quicker and stronger.”

McDonald batted .378 with 33 RBIs. He led his team with 12 doubles.

“Mitch was our leading hitter most of the year,” Ruppert said. “He’s really a versatile player. He caught, pitched, played third and shortstop.”

Nelson played shortstop and pitched for the Bucks. Nelson batted .364 with 23 RBIs, and a 5-3 record and 2.77 ERA

“Skyler threw well for us this year,” Nelson said. “He was pretty consistent at the plate. He was a good leader for us.”

Park had an 11-2 record with 2.41 ERA.

“Greg was our No. 1 pitcher,” Ruppert said. “He did a nice job. He was real consistent throughout the year.”

Pine River lost only two conference games, both to Beal City.