Saints look to keep it rolling vs. Starz at home

The Manistee Saints’ Kyle Gorski (above) and Roddy MacNeil (below) will look to help extend the team’s seven-game winning streak this weekend against the Mid Michigan Starz at Rietz Park. (News Advocate file photos)

The Manistee Saints made easy work of the Mid Michigan Starz on the road this past weekend, and in the process extended their latest winning streak to seven games.

This weekend, it’s the Starz’ turn to travel and the Saints will be waiting to attempt a repeat recent history, this time at Rietz Park.

“When you’re playing the same team back-to-back weekends, it can be a challenge to win every single one of those games,” said Manistee manager Tyrone Collins, “but we’re certainly going to give it a shot this weekend.”

The Saints (16-5) will host Mid Michigan (2-15) for another four-game Great Lakes United Baseball League series this Saturday and Sunday (with start times at 1 p.m. each day), after topping the Starz by the scores of 3-2, 14-7, 13-1 and 16-0 just a few days ago.

“Basically what we’ve got to do is go out and do what we’ve been doing,” Collins said. “We’ve got to stay strong with our offense, and our pitching staff has to keep up what they’ve been doing of late, which is keep walks to a minimum.”

The Saints’ Levi Irish (2-1) is slated to start Saturday’s opener while Collins plans to send Cam Fewless (2-1) to the mound for the nightcap. Sunday’s starters will be Ty Sobczak (4-1) and Kyle Gorski (2-1). Collins also said Avery Carr, a catcher and incoming Mason County Central senior, has been added to Manistee’s roster.

“Even though I had four rostered catchers on my team, we’ve been battling injuries at that spot,” he said. “All of a sudden we were in need of one, so we picked one up.”

Being a young team, the Starz are currently at the bottom of the league standings while the Saints are just a half game back of the league-leading Oil City Stags (13-1). Four of Manistee’s five losses on the season were dealt by the Stags, so the Saints will need help down the stretch to catch them.

“Oil City seems like they have it locked in place, but you never know in this game what can happen,” Collins said. “We’ve just got to go out and take care of our business and let the chips fall where they may. If anybody can beat Oil City a couple times for us, then we’re going to be right there.”

Manistee also has a National Amateur Baseball Federation (NABF) regional tournament slated to start on Aug. 1, which Collins said the team is working toward as well.

“We’re coming along really well, I think, and we’re trying to prepare ourselves for the NABF,” he said. “Every time out — the next at-bat, the next pitch — we’re working really hard to make sure we’re doing things right, so we’re ready to go for the tournament when it comes around.”

This weekend the Manistee Saints will announce and recognize their “Sponsor of the Year” at Rietz Park as part of the game-day festivities. The club has also announced a schedule change: the Manistee Saints’ annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony will now be held on July 28 at Rietz Park, prior to their doubleheader against the Midland Tribe, slated for 1 p.m.

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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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