Saints again sinners in the field

 

Manistee catcher Travis McCormick is tagged out at the plate during the Saints’ 14-5 loss to the Oil City Stags at Cadillac High School on Wednesday.

Manistee catcher Travis McCormick is tagged out at the plate during the Saints’ 14-5 loss to the Oil City Stags at Cadillac High School on Wednesday.

CADILLAC — Manistee’s road to a Gratiot County Baseball League title hit a severe speed bump, thanks to another subpar game in the field.

The Saints committed four errors in the first inning, allowed seven runs in that frame and limped to a 14-5 loss to the Oil City Stags at Cadillac High School Wednesday night.

Payton Tyndall took the loss on the mound for Manistee, despite not giving up an earned run in the decisive first inning.

“It took the wind out of us in the first inning because we couldn’t field the ball,” Saints manager Phil Kliber said. “I felt bad for Payton Tyndall, he had good velocity. We stress throwing first-pitch strikes, and he had first-pitch strikes on 7 of the first 11 batters.

“It was a disaster.”

Andy Fortier, Kreighton Rahn, Lucas Richardson and Travis McCormick each had a pair of hits for the Saints, who were without the services of some of their top hitters due to work obligations.

Neither Kyle Gorski, Jim Virden nor Dylan Rankin made the midweek trip to Cadillac for the contest.

“We were a little shorthanded

because it was a Wednesday night game, but that’s no excuse,” Kliber said. “We just didn’t play well.

“We had 10 hits through the first six hitters in the lineup, and that should be good enough to win you ballgames, but not when you don’t pick the ball up.”

The loss drops the Saints to 8-5 overall, and 7-2 in GCBL play, behind second-place Oil City and unbeaten league leaders Ionia, whom the Saints will play in what has become almost a must-win doubleheader on Sunday.

“This is a big weekend,” Kliber said. “They come to Manistee later in the year, but you can’t keep saying, ‘We’ll do it next week.’ We should be very good this weekend, and we’ll need to be.”

Manistee will have their top pitcher, Gorski, back for the huge twinbill at Ionia, and will also welcome back their all-time leading pitcher, Lee Rodney.

Rodney will be very familiar to long-time Saints fans, having played eight seasons for the team and setting just about every team pitching record. Kilber said that Rodney will pitch one of the games at Ionia and also one of the games on July 5, so the home fans can see his return to Rietz Park.

“(The loss) puts us in a hole,” Kliber said. “Not really bad, because we’re not yet at the halfway point, but it puts pressure on us because we go to Ionia on Sunday.”

avatar

Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or syoshonis@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply