Evart pitching dominates in doubleheader sweep

Evart’s Billy Conklin slides safely into second base on Friday against Marion.(Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

EVART – Evart baseball coach Josh Johnson was extremely happy on Friday to get two games in after not having played for several days because of bad weather.

He was especially delighted to get two wins over nonleague opponent Marion: 16-0 after four innings in the opener and 5-2 in six innings in the rematch.

“It’s been 10 days since we had a game,” Johnson said. “It was nice to get out. We had to battle the second game. Marion’s kids came after us.”

The Wildcats improved to 6-2 with the wins. Danny Witbeck tossed a 1-hitter in the first game and didn’t allow any walks while striking out seven in four innings.

“We played really well,” Witbeck said. “We hit the ball well. I threw the curve but it was mostly fastballs.

Witbeck is a sophomore and also pitched last season.

“I have improved a pretty good amount,” he said. “I want to work on my curveball and my curveball location.”

If he’s not pitching, Witbeck plays second base or shortstop.

“I try to be solid and make the routine plays,” he said. “(His throws to first) are good.”

Carter Pritchard had two singles, a double and four RBIs wile Billy Conklin had a single and triple, Nolen Rohn had a single and two RBIs and Justin O’Dell, Donavin Reagan and Troy Lodholtz each had a single and RBI.

Witbeck said he’s been working on his hitting.

“I’ve started off slow this year,” he said. “You have to keep your eye on the ball and not do too much.”

Justin O’Dell was the winning pitcher in the second game. Pritchard had two singles while Pierce Johnson had a single and two RBIs, O’Dell and Garrett Johnson both had a single and Sebastian Calderon had an RBI.

“I’ve got to give Marion credit, they battled us,” Johnson said. “They wanted to win a game. Four of my starters were sitting tonight for both games. I had some young JV kids to bring up and help us get the win. We had some eligibility and other issues.”

Evart plays Tuesday at Pine River.

“We’re doing well and I think we have a good season coming,” Witbeck said. “We have to have fun and lots of energy and always support our teammates.”

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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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