ST. PAUL, MN (January 28, 2013) – In just his first professional season Dustin Klabunde was given a crucial role with the St. Paul Saints: closer. He led the club with 10 saves and was superb in any situation manager George Tsamis put him in. Tsamis will once again have the opportunity to utilize the University of Minnesota product as Klabunde re-signed with the Saints for 2013
The 24-year-old Klabunde was 2-1 with a 3.43 ERA and 10 saves in 34 games (one start). In 42.0 innings pitched he walked 21 and struck out 22 while opponents hit .290 against him. The Saints signed Klabunde as a free agent on June 12 and in his professional debut on the same day he pitched 3.0 perfect innings of relief against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks and his season took off from that point. Over his first seven relief appearance, spanning 10.2 innings pitched, Klabunde allowed just one run. During a stretch of more than a month from July 9 – August 11 he allowed just two earned runs in 15.1 innings pitched.
Last year with the Gophers Klabunde had a solid senior season going 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA and one save in 16 appearances (one start). In 32.0 innings pitched he walked six and struck out 22 while opponents hit .248 against him.
Klabunde had shoulder surgery in 2009 and pitched in just five games in 2011. He graduated from McLeod West High School and was a two-time All-State, All-Area and three-time All-Conference honoree and was named the team’s MVP twice. Klabunde was a multi-sport athlete and was named a two-time Conference Player of the Year, a three-time All-Conference selection and the team’s three-time MVP in basketball along with an All-Conference selection in football his senior season.
The Saints also re-signed pitcher Danny Gutierrez who went 1-1 with a 3.93 ERA in four starts. In 18.1 innings pitched he walked six and struck out 15. Gutierrez spent most of the season on the disabled list.
During the off-season the Saints have signed four pitchers. The Saints 2013 season begins on Thursday, May 16 with a 7:05 p.m. home game against the New Jersey Jackals.