LAKEVIEW — The Lakeview Wildcats baseball team struggled to find consistency in its season this year.
Part of the inconsistency was due to the awful weather in April, which forced the cancelations of practices and many early season games.
“The whole month of April was bad. There were days we couldn’t even practice,” Lakeview coach Ryan Vellanti said. “Our first eight games were canceled. It was tough to find consistency and to get things going.”
By the time the CSAA season actually got under way, the Wildcats and other teams were playing two to three doubleheaders a week.
“That didn’t help much,” Vellanti said.
Lakeview’s season ended on Saturday with a 3-0 loss to Morley Stanwood in the district semifinals. The Mohawks defeated Evart to win the district title later Saturday.
The Wildcats finished the season 9-15 overall and 8-10 in league play.
“Obviously, you always want more wins and to be at least .500,” Vellanti said. “Overall, the seniors I’ve had three to four years all played pretty well. The big thing is going to be getting consistent.
“We would be really good in one game of a doubleheader and then really bad in the second game,” he added.
An example of that was handing Newaygo its only league loss in game one of a doubleheader and then getting no-hit in the second game.
Still, the Wildcats had plenty of great performances and had four players earn league honors in the CSAA.
Senior Kyler Ridgeway, a four-year varsity player, was named to the first team as a pitcher.
“He was our best pitcher. I would put him in the top three pitching-wise in our league,” Vellanti said. “He did really well for us this year. He was the only kid that beat Newaygo in our league and beat second place Holton, as well.”
Ridgeway went 5-3 with a 1.27 ERA. He allowed just 10 earned runs in 55 innings, while striking out 71.
Vellanti said the key to Ridgeway’s success was just throwing strikes.
“The previous three years he was inconsistent,” Vellanti said. “This year, he found it and really pounded the strike zone, which really made him a ton better. He always had good stuff, but he was behind hitters.”
Jordan Stephens was named to the second team. The four-year varsity member played shortstop and pitched.
“He had another solid season. He was up around .400 all year, but dropped off a little at the end,” Vellanti said. “He really improved defensively. He was our shortstop and hit in the three-hole all four years.”
Stephens led the Wildcats in hitting with a .375 average. He had 24 hits, seven doubles, 17 walks, 18 runs and 13 RBIs.
Seniors Garrett Cavendish and Calvin Englund earned honorable mentions.
Cavendish, who spent three and a half years on varsity, played centerfield and led off at the plate. He hit .350 with 10 stolen bases, 28 hits and 12 RBIs.
“He was really solid in centerfield and catches everything,” Vellanti said. “This year was his best year hitting and he stole a lot of bases. He always got us going. If he had a good day usually our offense did.”
Englund was a three-year varsity player. He played catcher and pitched for the Wildcats.
“He was a solid catcher. I would say, behind the Newaygo catcher, the second best catcher in our league,” Vellanti said. “He had a really solid season for us. He was a good, hard working and did everything I asked of him.”
Englund was second on the team with a .357 average. He had 25 hits, eight doubles and 15 RBIs.
All-CSAA Baseball Teams
Sterling Brinker Big Rapids
Hayden Cregg Holton
Brad Epplett Holton
Joe Heminger Hesperia
Chase Huntey M. Stanwood
Austin Issette Chippewa Hills
Tyler Kelsey Chippewa Hills
Kaleb McAree Hesperia
Robby Mendham Newaygo
Andrew Middleton Newaygo
Matt Milbourne Newaygo
Kyler Ridgeway Lakeview
Austin Balkema Hesperia
Tim Cairnduff M. Stanwood
Mike Carey M. Stanwood
Caleb Childers Big Rapids
Tanner Fowler Holton
Austin Hansen Reed City
Jesse Petersen C. Montcalm
Jacob Russell Holton
Tyler Sutherland White Cloud
Jordan Stephens Lakeview
Jake Warren Newaygo
Tyler Williams Chippewa Hills
Weston Butler Newaygo
Tom Carey Morley Stanwood
Garrett Cavendish Lakeview
Hunter Conley Chippewa Hills
Calvin Englund Lakeview
Eric Grannis Reed City
Josh Jones Big Rapids
Caleb Martin Chippewa Hills
Garrett Martin Holton
Sam McNeal Hesperia
Aaron Poling Holton
Dakota Sander Big Rapids
Logan Straub Reed City
Brett Walcutt Chippewa Hills
Kaleb Wilson White Cloud
Oryan Wetherington Central Montcalm