Division 3 Team Of The Week: Week 7 - Algonac

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Michigan Senior Writer

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Division 3 Team Of The Week: Week 7 - Algonac

CLAY TOWNSHIP - One of the teams to beat in the state has lived up to the expectations. Now 27-2 after a win on Monday, Algonac is the Prep Baseball Report Division 3 Team of the Week.

“We had high goals as a team returning the majority of our pitching staff and making it to the quarterfinals last year,” head coach Scott Thaler said about the outlook for the 2023 Muskrats. “We are a very close team. Most years it takes a few weeks to maybe even a month for the team to gel. This team clicked in the off-season allowing us to hit the ground running from day one.”

Imlay City was 10-0 and 13-2 victims to Algonac this past week with the second-rated team in D-3 also knocking off Lansing Waverly 17-6 and L'Anse Creuse North 2-1.

“Cal Meleski (junior outfielder), Matt Meldrum (senior 1B/DH) and Tyler Schultz all had a huge week for us batting over .500,” pointed out Thaler. “All three also had a home run during the week.”

No home run was bigger than the one on Saturday, a walk-off by catcher/outfielder Evan Saddler to beat LCN, his second long ball of the week.

Schultz, a Mid Michigan Community College commit who plays second base and catcher, is batting a team-high .402 with 31 runs scored and 28 RBIs while Meleski, a junior outfielder, has a .391 average with 20 runs scored and 13 RBIs.

Michigan commit Josh Kasner has been phenomenal at the plate and on the mound for Algonac, with a .400 average, 35 runs, 24 RBIs and a pair of home runs. The third-rated junior right-handed pitcher in Michigan is also 8-0 with a 0.737 ERA, striking out 108 in 57 innings.

Kasner has thrown a pair of no-hitters this season while Bryce Simpson has one as well as a combo with Mid Michigan college signee Brandon Williams.

A sophomore left-hander, Simpson is 5-0 with a 1.40 ERA, recording 58 Ks in 39.1 frames.

In addition to Kasner, Schultz and Williams, Algonac has two other college commits in senior pitcher Noah Maniaci (Lourdes) and senior SS/C Caleb Thomas (Concordia).

“I am surprised by our poise,” admitted Thaler, whose Muskrats clinched a Blue Water Area Conference championship with an 11-4 win over North Branch on Monday to move to 12-1 in league play. “We are 6-1 in one-run games. I’m also happy with our defense. We have been stellar all year which gives our pitchers confidence.”

The final league game is on Wednesday against North Branch with Bay City Central and Blissfield on the schedule Saturday.

“Those are two very good teams that will prepare us for the post-season,” Thaler said. “We just need to continue to pitch well and play good defense. If we do that we will have a chance in any game we play.”