BIG RAPIDS \u2014 Third baseman Kyle Brock, a senior is confident his Pine River baseball team can have a banner season this spring. Pitching performances and timely hitting paved the way for both Big Rapids and Pine River in splitting a Saturday afternoon baseball non-conference doubleheader. Big Rapids Aaron Jensen hurled a five-inning three-hitter in the first game for a 14-4 Big Rapids win and Devin Ruppert pitched all but one out for Pine River in the seven-inning second game that wound up 7-4 in the Bucks\u2019 favor. Isaac Wilkins took the loss. Brett Hastings, Anthony Hilkowski and Warner had hits for the Bucks. Ruppert took a 7-3 lead into the seventh inning but, with two outs, issued a bases loaded walk. Lincoln Erickson came in to strike out Mike Martin and end the game. \u201cIn the first game, we got off to a bad start, had some errors. In the second game, we did a lot better and didn\u2019t have as many errors,\u201d said Brock. \u201cWe hit the ball We woke up a little bit.\u201d Ruppert gave up seven hits and six walks while striking out seven. \u201cDevin pitched a nice game,\u201d said Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert. \u201cWe needed that. He threw strikes for the most part. In the first game, we walked too many guys. That puts our fielders on their heels. He got a little tired at the end.\u201d Nick Warner had three hits for the Bucks including a solo home run. \u201cWe relaxed and used the bats better in the second game,\u201d Ruppert said. \u201cJenson\u2019s a good pitcher. We had lots of base runners and scored four runs. I was happy the way we competed against him.\u201d Pine River, 7-2, is home against Beal City Friday and has the Pine River Invitational Saturday. \u201cThat means a lot of guys have to pitch,\u201d Shawn Ruppert said. \u201cI think we\u2019ll be OK. We had a doubleheader last night. Nick and Lincoln will usually do a decent job. Devin pitched good today. We have to get that fourth person to throw strikes.\u201d It\u2019s Brock\u2019s second year on the varsity. \u201cI\u2019ve gotten a lot better hitting the ball,\u201d he said. \u201cIt\u2019s from maturity and little bit of work in the summer league. I\u2019m picking better pitches.\u201d Defensively at third base, Brock is comfortable with his throwing arm to first base. He said his glove is \u201ca lot better.\u201d The Bucks \u201chave gotten a lot better since the first day,\u201d he said. \u201cWe want to compete in the Highland.\u201d On Friday, Pine River lost at Mason County Central 6-1 in the opener but won the second game 5-3. Nick Warner took the loss in the opener. Anthony Hilkowski and Brock both had hits. Ruppert added an RBI. Erickson was the winner in the second game with 12 strikeouts. He scattered five hits. Brett Hastings had an RBI for the Bucks.