Pine River rips Manton in summer baseball play

LEROY — On a hot Wednesday evening last week, they were playing baseball at Pine River.

It was a part of Shawn Ruppert’s summer program to get the players who most likely will be on the team next season as much diamond time as possible.

On Wednesday, the Bucks defeated Manton in five innings after the mercy rule took effect with a 15-2 verdict.

Joe Gingrich and Tyler Lewis saw action on the mound for the Bucks.

Brady Long was among the top hitters for the Bucks along with Lincoln Erickson and Devin Ruppert.

The Bucks weren’t able to get earlier action because of players being at a basketball camp one week and the cancellation of a game with Reed City, which wasn’t able to field enough players.

Pine River was also scheduled to be at Brethren this past Monday. Other games are also scheduled for the summer, usually during Wednesday including one at home. Traverse City West is expected to be among the opponents.

Several returning players and new faces have been making up Ruppert’s team for the summer.

It’s also a busy time for Ruppert, who is working with the girls basketball team for the summer program.