Pine River senior set to make key contributions this season

HOAGLUND
HOAGLUND

LEROY  — Brandon Hoaglund is one of only two seniors on a Pine River baseball team that was state quarterfinalists last spring and could have the talent to make plenty of noise again this year.

Skyler Nelson is the only other returning senior. It’s Hoaglund’s third year on varsity and he has usually been an outfielder. He’ll be seeing some pitching action this season.

“Last year I was really happy with my batting until I got hurt,” Hoaglund said. “Then I went down some. I was happy with how we played as a team last year.”

Hoaglund was able to show improvement as a baseball player last year.

“My sophomore year I really struggled with batting because of the different speeds on varsity,” he said. “My junior year, it was a lot better. I got the hang of it. I was a lot more confident. Mr. (Shawn) Ruppert is a great coach in helping to transfer from JV to varsity. Every single time we bat, he finds something that we can always work on.”

Hoaglund expects the Bucks to be a competitive team again this season.

“We’re not as experienced as last year, but we still have experience from kids that have played baseball all through their life,” he said.

He’s pitched in the past and Hoaglund is confident of his abilities on the mound once he gets the call. He has faith in his curveball, but calls his control “iffy” right now.

In the field, center and third base are possible positions for Hoaglund.

“I have good reaction to where the ball is going. I don’t have the strongest arm, but I make up for it (defensively),” Hoaglund said. “I’m trying to be a good leader. We only have two other returning varsity players besides me and Skyler. You have to get the kids ready for varsity play and give them confidence.

“We’re really quick. We won’t know on fielding until we get (outside). I’m sure we’ll be fine fielding.”

The Bucks were district and regional champs last

season.

“We should be capable of going for at least regionals,” Hoaglund said.