Pine River baseball stays undefeated

BUCKS: Pine River’s Lucas Harris holds off on a high pitch against McBain Northern Michigan Christian Tuesday. The Bucks swept the Comets 10-0, 14-4, both by mercy rule. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

BUCKS: Pine River’s Lucas Harris holds off on a high pitch against McBain Northern Michigan Christian Tuesday. The Bucks swept the Comets 10-0, 14-4, both by mercy rule. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

LEROY — The Pine River Bucks will have some key challenges to their undefeated record coming up, but coach Shawn Ruppert’s baseball team could still enjoy being perfect after Tuesday’s doubleheader sweep over McBain Northern Michigan Christian.

Pine River posted 10-0 and 14-4 wins in five and six innings, respectively, Tuesday in Highland Conference action.

“We had good pitching again,” Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert said. “I had a chance to throw a lot. Mason Powell did a good job throwing strikes. Lucas Harris did a good job in the second game and just had one bad inning in the fifth.”

Greg Park was the winning pitcher in the first game, allowing no hits and striking out nine in three innings. Mason Powell went two innings, striking out five and allowing no walks and two hits.

Mitchell McDonald had a double and three RBIs, and Alex Knapp had a hit. Powell added a double and two RBIs, and Nick Shimel had one hit and one RBI.

In the second game, Pine River jumped out to an early 3-0 lead.

Lucas Harris went 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and two hits while striking out four. Marcus Washington contributed two hits and four RBIs, while Tony Moore had two hits. Harris and McDonald both had a hit and RBI. Also contributing hits were Grant Ruppert, Alex Knapp, Powell, Shimel and Dillon Loop.

“We had some nice hits today,” Ruppert said. “NMC’s pitchers really weren’t that bad. Their pitcherin the second game threw well and I was happy to get three runs right off the bat. That made a difference.”

“I thought we played good,” Washington said. “We played well in all aspects. The pitchers have been doing a good job. We haven’t been doing that good in batting, but I think it will get better throughout the year.”

The Bucks are 4-0 in the Highland.

Pine River is home Thursday against Reed City and has its invitational Saturday against Houghton Lake and Kent City.

“I think Reed City will be decent,” Ruppert said. “Kent City should be too.”

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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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