Saints hope to snap losing streak

Manistee Saints second baseman Kyle Gurzynski makes a throw to first during a loss to Muskegon Extra Innings last weekend. (Matt Wenzel/News Advocate)

By MATT WENZEL
Sports Editor
MANISTEE — Over the first two weeks of the season, pitching hasn’t been the problem for the Manistee Saints. Hitting, on the other hand, has.
The Saints are allowing 3.6 runs per game, which has put them in the position to win. The fact that they’re averaging just 1.8 per game of their own is the reason for the 1-5 start.
“I said before the season started, it’s going to take three or four weeks,” said Saints manager Phil Kliber. “The hitters are always behind, I think, first thing in the season, unless they played a full season of college ball.”
Since winning their season-opening game, the Saints have dropped five straight and are looking to snap the skid this weekend with a pair of doubleheaders on the schedule.
“I want to win them all,” Kliber said. “That means snapping the losing streak too.”
Manistee will host the Strathroy Royals of Ontario on Saturday at Rietz Park with the first game start time moved up to 1 p.m. Left-hander Clint Druckenmiller is scheduled to start the opener for Manistee while Alma College junior righty Richard Schreiber will make his Saints debut in game two. The Saints are looking for their first home wins of the season after dropping a pair of games to Muskegon Extra Innings last Saturday.
Manistee will return to play in the Gratiot County Baseball League Sunday with a doubleheader on the road against the Sidney Knights. Lee Rodney, who is 1-1 with a 0.00 ERA and 26 strikeouts in two starts, is scheduled to pitch for the Saints, who are 1-1 in GCBL play after splitting their season-opening doubleheader.
“You play for a league championship,” Kliber said. “That’s why we’ll save the horse for Sunday.”
Kevin Schultz is also slated to start Sunday for the Saints after a strong outing last week.
The pitching has been solid so far, it’s just a matter of the offense coming through too. The Saints have scored more than two runs just once this season and managed just four over the last four games combined. However, Kliber said he’s confident that will change.
“They just haven’t been out enough,” he said of his hitters. “I think the hitting will come. I think it will come, it’s just going to take some time.”

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