Cleary baseball begins home season today

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HOWELL — Cleary University baseball coach Karl Kling was busy this week rearranging his schedule while hoping some slumping players get their bats going beginning with today’s home opener at Parker Middle School.

The Cougars (3-11-1) will play host to a doubleheader with Kent State-Tuscarawas at 1 p.m. today and play a third game at noon Saturday.

It will be the first games since the Cougars were swept at Goshen more than two weeks ago.

Cleary University coach Karl Kling is in his third year in charge of the Cougars baseball team. (Cleary University photo)

“Having been off for two weeks isn’t necessarily bad,” Kling said. “Sometimes we get into the stop-and-go of the weather (due to rainouts). We’d like to avoid that. When we came back, we played two games at Goshen, and we’ve been off two seeks since then. You just can’t get any consistency that way, Next week we have six games scheduled, and it doesn’t look as likely that we’ll play any of those games. Now we’ll see a condensed last 3-4 weeks where pitching is going to be at a premium, and stuff like that.”

Kling said that his team’s hitting woes contributed to the Cougars’ slow start, and that the pitching has been better than the overall record indicates.

“We had a couple of guys who had a rough spring trip,” he said. “But out of those 13 games, we had 11 quality starts. We’ve been in a lot of games. We only had two games where it went south quickly and stayed that way.”

Kling says he likes to split his seasons into thirds, with the Florida trip considered the first third of the season.

Now, he says, it’s time for his slumping players to get going.

“We have some seniors who have to step up,” he said. “Some guys are really struggling with the bat who have proven in the past they can do it. It’s not a new kid wondering if he can play at this level.

“We have three or four guys who are putting together good at-bats consistently, but our problem has been lack of consistent production 1-9, and a key error here and there. Some guys have solidified their positions, and others have opened the door for others to compete for spots.”

Both the Cleary baseball and softball teams will play today. The softball team will play Lawrence Tech in a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. at the adjacent softball field. There is no admission charge for either sport.