LEROY  — Mason Powell is off to a strong start, especially at the bat, for Pine River’s baseball team.

He’s a junior who is in his third varsity season.

From his freshman to sophomore season, “there was lot of improvement confident wise,” he said. “My batting got a lot better. I was always good at hitting the ball. My on base percentage got better. My fielding grew. It all kind of came together with the confidence and not being scared as a freshman.”

Powell will play center field and pitch a lot of innings.

“I throw fairly hard and I’m fairly accurate,” he said. “When I was younger, I threw harder than most kids.”

At center field, “I’m pretty fast and have a good arm,” he said. “I cover a lot of ground, catch the ball and get it in quick.”

Powell is off to a strong hitting start.

“My freshman year, I didn’t hit it as well as I wanted but my on base percentage was pretty high,” he said. “Last  year I hit better like .350. This year, I’m hitting the ball well. I have a quick swing. We have good coaching here and spend a lot of time in the cage.”

The Bucks were 0-2 going into the break. They enter this week 1-3 and play at Big Rapids on Wednesday.

“That isn’t quite what I’m used to,” Powell said. “We’re not down from past years but we have young players with first years on varsity. We’ll be a solid batting and fielding team. We don’t have the strength of pitchers we used to. Our gloves will come in handy.”