Ruppert set for strong preseason with Pine River baseball

LEROY —  Grant Ruppert would like his senior baseball senior at Pine River to be his best.

This marks his third varsity season. He’s played on the last two district championship teams.

“I thought things went pretty well, I’m definitely getting more experience every year,” Ruppert said. “This should be my breakout year, from building those different experiences of catching, pitching and playing the infield.”

He’s been playing catcher, third baseman and second baseman this season.

“Pitching this year, I should be able to stay on target, hit my spots, change up speeds,” Ruppert said. “At catching, I should be able to keep the ball in front of me and not allow runners to advance.”

His strength as a second baseman should be “being steady, making the plays I should make,” he said, adding that experience at those positions will be a strength.

Ruppert’s best batting average has been .280.

“I’d like to be in the .300s this year,” he said. “I need to keep my weight back and see the ball all the way through.”

Ruppert describes himself as a contact hitter but is looking for more power this season.

The Bucks play at Big Rapids Wednesday and have a home tournament on Saturday.

“I think we’re capable of a deep tournament run,” Ruppert said. “We have to have things fall together as far as pitching and cleaning up some things, but that will come.”