Evart players partake on summer team

The Barnstormers won the 16U Division of the Quad City Storm Tournament recently with a 6-5 win in the championship game. The Barnstormers team had four Evart High School baseball players: from left, Danny Witbeck, Ty Sochocki, Justin O’Dell and Nate Sochocki. (Courtesy photo)

EVART — Evart-area baseball players competed with The Barnstormers 16U baseball team, which won its division of the Quad City Storm Tournament this weekend with a 6-5 win in the championship game against Bullock Creek.

The games were all played on Big Rapids baseball diamonds.

Athletes from Shepherd, Alma, Mount Pleasant and Evart were on the squad.

The Barnstormers players from Evart were Justin O’Dell, Nate and Ty Sochocki and Danny Witbeck.

The coach was Ken Kreiner.

“We were runners-up in two other tournaments, one in Muskegon and one in Mount Pleasant,” Kreiner said.

The team’s final record was 10-5-1 for the summer. The four Evart players are on the Wildcat varsity team, coached by Josh Johnson. Nate Sochocki was an outfielder and catcher, Ty Sochocki played both infield and outfield, and O’Dell and Witbeck were both pitchers and outfielders.

All four contributed significantly for his team, Kreiner said.

“Especially when we got to the last tournament, our hitting was good, and we really started hitting the ball in the second to the last tournament,” Kreiner said.

The Barnstormers were 4-0 in Big Rapids last weekend.

Kreiner is the son of retired Central Michigan University baseball head coach Dean Kreiner, CMU’s winningest baseball skipper.

“Coach Ken Kreiner played at CMU during his father’s tenure and was a left-handed pitcher,” Jason O’Dell, father of Justin O’Dell, said. “Coach Kreiner gives private lessons to many, many athletes.”



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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