Saints host Newaygo Legion today

Saints shortstop Nick Doyle makes a throw to first during Manistee’s sweep of Coleman on June 9. The Saints host Newaygo Legion today at Rietz Park starting at 6 p.m. (Matt Wenzel/News Advocate)

Typically, the Manistee Saints would take the field on a Wednesday to practice for upcoming weekend games.

Today, however, the team will host Newaygo Legion for a rare weekday contest that starts at 6 p.m. at Rietz Park.

“It’s hard for us to get anything in during the week, but this team called and asked if we’d play, which is nice,” said Saints manager Phil Kliber of what’s slated to be a seven-inning contest. “Without lights, and being kind of isolated up north from anybody, we don’t usually get them in during the week, so this will be good for us.”

Manistee (6-8) is coming off a pair of victories after sweeping a Gratiot County Baseball League series with Riverdale last Sunday. The day before, however, the Saints dropped a pair of United Baseball League contests to Battle Creek Behnke.

Tonight’s contest doesn’t count toward either league, but represents the first of two meetings between Manistee and Newaygo, the second scheduled for Wednesday, July 17.

“We’ve never played them before,” Kliber said. “They’re an American Legion team, which will probably be kids 17, 18 from the Newaygo High School area. So, they’ll be young.”

Kliber said he’ll send 2011 Brethren graduate Roddy MacNeil (0-1, 12.83 ERA) to the mound, but plans to spread the workload around.

“The two or three appearances that he’s made for us when he’s been really effective has been at the end, when he’s been able to come in and throw three, four, five batters,” Kliber said. “But, we’re going to give him the start.

“I’ll probably have three pitchers there that I want to give some innings to,” he added. “We’ll try to get everybody some work, and try to win a ballgame at the same time.”

The Saints will return to GCBL action on Sunday when they play the Fulton Sultans on the road.

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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