Stone set for strong first varsity season at Pine River

LEROY  — Matthew Stone is a junior making his varsity debut with the Pine River baseball squad. But he’s expecting to play a key role for the Bucks this season.

Stone is up from a junior varsity team that had a lot of success for Pine River. For the Bucks varsity team, he plays outfield and catches.

“My strength in the outfield is that I have a really good arm,” Stone said. “My strength as a catcher is that I know the game really well. So I know where to throw the ball and the capability of runners.”

He also pitches. “My strength is my accuracy,” he said. “I don’t throw overly hard, but I hit the spots.”

His defensive strength is outfield.

Offensively, Stone is a high .200s, low .300s hitter.

“I did really well last year and hopefully that continues into this year,” he said. “I can place (the ball) really well.”

Stone wants to improve on his baserunning.

The recent warming trend has helped his team get more outdoor time, Stone said.

“We’re capable of winning another district championship,” Stone said. “We’ve played with each other since second grade. We know each other. We take our baseball seriously.”

Solid defense will be the key to winning each game, Stone added.

Pine River is at Big Rapids on Wednesday.