Seniors have high hopes for final season

EVART – It’s the final season of high school baseball for Tyler Wirth and Jerrod Wheeler and they’re hoping it will be their best one.

Wirth is a senior in his third year of varsity baseball for the Evart Wildcats.

“We haven’t been too good on the wins so far, we’re trying to improve,” said Wirth. “Besides injuries, I’ve been doing pretty good myself. Injuries have been a setback for me. So far this year, I’ve been healthy for baseball season.”

Wirth has been a shortstop and catcher, more so at shortstop.

“I’m good at fielding groundballs,” he said. “I’m pretty quick.”

At the plate, Wirth has been working on a new stance.

“I’m trying to improve my batting average from years previous,” he said. “It’s my technique and getting ahead of the (pitcher). “

The Wildcats are doing pretty good so far,” Wirth said. “We have to cut down on the errors. We have a lot work on. But I’m sure we’ll go a ways.”

Last season was a learning experience of sorts for Wheeler. He’s a pitcher and first baseman this season.

“We’ve learned things that we need to work on,” Wheeler said. “We played Houghton Lake and didn’t have a very solid game. We need to straighten up mentally and be in the game all the time.”

Wheeler acknowledges that his height is an advantage in going after the baseball defensively at first base. He’s happy with his pitching against Houghton Lake when he threw 97 pitches. His knuckleball, which he started throwing in the seventh grade, has been an effective pitch.

As a senior, Wheeler feels he should be at the top of his game.

“I’ve been reworking my swing a little bit,” he said, adding that batting .250 has been a target. “I think we have a lot of potential. We have a lot of seniors in the infield.”

Wheeler and the Wildcats hope to be at the top of their game by the end of the season.

“Winning districts is pretty much our goal every year,”’ Wheeler said.