Evart baseball team eyes more wins this season

EVART — Evart coach Josh Johnson is confident of seeing more wins this season from his baseball team.

The Wildcats are in their third week of practice and, weather-permitting, are slated to start their season at home against Tri County on Wednesday. That’s the only scheduled game prior to next week’s spring break.

Senior catchers-pitchers-infielders Chris Imhoff and Andrew Bengry are among the top returning players along with senior Rob Tapling, who is an infielder and outfielder.

Looking forward: Evart baseball coach Josh Johnson talks to his players during a moment last season. (File photo)

Looking forward: Evart baseball coach Josh Johnson talks to his players during a moment last season. (File photo)

“Chris batted over .400 last year and he’s had a good season, and I expect him to have another good season,” Johnson said. “Rob Tapling was up around .300. Bengry could certainly improve. He’s a good enough hitter. He batted under .200 last year, so he’s looking to have a better year.”

Johnson is looking for other players to also have success at the plate.

“Pitching-wise, we’ll be kind of mix-and-match again,” Johnson said. “We don’t have that one dominant kid. We just have to get kids throwing strikes, in my opinion.”

Bengry and junior Layne Nadig are expected to be among Evart’s top pitchers.

“Those two, along with Josh Dorn, will probably be our top three guys,” Johnson said.

Junior Trevin Ladd came up as a freshman for the Wildcats and had a strong season.

“Then he kind of had an average year last year,” Johnson said, adding he anticipates Ladd to enjoy a quality season.

“I think we’ll be better than last year,” Johnson said. “I’ve got high hopes, high optimism for this year.”

Evart won six games last year. The Wildcats play in the baseball-rich Highland Conference.

“Beal City will be real good again, no doubt about it,” Johnson said. “Manton should be pretty good and Pine River will be pretty good.”

After the break, “Evart is at Reed City on April 12 and home with Charlevoix on April 16 and Gladwin on April 18.

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Posted by John Raffel

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

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