Hill aims to be at his best on the mound for Pine River

LEROY — It now seems like a distant memory but Pine River’s baseball team did get a victory against Grant in late March, prior to the spring break.

But three weeks and more wintry weather later, players like Pine River junior Luke Hill are chomping at the bit hoping to get outside and play more games as soon as possible.

Hill is in his third varsity season.

Last year, “we did a lot of good stuff in tournaments,” he said. “We played well together. But we could never quite pull it together at the end.”

Hill usually pitches and plays third base.

“But since our first game, I’ve played a little bit of everything,” he said. He’s slated to be among the Bucks’ top pitchers this season.

His fastball has been his strength.

“I’m working at dropping the hips and putting more velocity on the ball and having a little bit extra curveball,” Hill said. “I think I’ve pitched pretty well. But there’s always room for improvement.”

At third base, “I usually throw a little farther of the line,” Hill said. “I can cover a little more area.”

At the plate, Hill struggled as a freshman.

“But once I got used to it last year, I’ve been hitting the ball pretty solid,” he said. “I should be able to hit really good this year, probably 350 to .400.”

The Bucks are scheduled to play at Manistee on Wednesday.

“I think once we more games outside, we’ll get fine-tuned and will be able to win some games,” he said. “I think we’ll be good all the way around.”

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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