Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editorfirstname.lastname@example.org
It wasn't a doubleheader sweep, it was an education. The Havre Northstars put on a hitting and pitching display against a young Great Falls Stallions A squad as they swept a pair of Northern District games at Don Olson Field Tuesday in Great Falls.
The Northstars, who improved their record to 15-9 on the season, scored 37 runs on 27 hits in two games as they pounded the Stallions, ending both games in five innings via the 10-run mercy rule.
"They're pretty young kids, mostly 15-year olds, and they are going to struggle at times," Northstars head coach Mickey Williams said of the Stallions. "They really have long way to go."
That being said, playing teams significantly younger and inferior can be very tough. Often teams can play down to their opponents' level. However, the Northstars had none of that. From the very beginning, Havre set the tone.
Havre opened the first game with four runs in the first inning on three hits and never looked back. The Northstars scored in every inning on their way to a 15-1 win.
Northstar starter Brandon Morse shook off a shaky last performance and was sharp going the distance, allowing one earned run on three hits while striking out eight batters and, most importantly, walking none.
"Brandon didn't try to overthrow," Williams said. "He stayed within himself and threw strikes, which was the key."
Havre pounded out 14 hits in the game and were aided by six walks and four errors by the Stallions.
Steve Heberly went 4-5 with a pair of RBIs and scored three runs. Daine Solomon had a big game for Havre with a pair of hits and three RBIs while Adam Jensen was also 2-3 with a pair of RBIs.
If things were bad in the first game, they only got uglier in the second. The Stallions committed nine errors, walked four batters and hit two as the Northstars won going away 22-0.
Havre starter Ian Spencer was very sharp, surrendering just one hit to pick up the shutout win. Spencer struck out 10 batters and walked just two in five innings of work.
The Northstars were led offensively by Solomon, who jacked a three-run home run on his way to a 3-5 performance at the plate and four RBIs in the game. Jensen also had a solid game with a single, double, triple and four RBIs.
"The kids were pretty good about staying in the game," Williams said. "Those games can be tough. Our pitching was good and we hit the ball hard."
Havre will face a tougher challenge with the same name tonight. The Stallions AA will be in Havre to take on the Northstars in a nine-inning game at Legion Field at 6:30 p.m.
The AA squad is loaded with talent and should be a formidable task for the Northstars.
"We're going from one extreme to another," Williams said. "They are a very good hitting team and we will need to play well to win. It's going to be a challenge."
Heberly will get the nod on the mound.
Havre Northstars 415 23 - 15 14 0
Great Falls Stallions A 000 10 - 1 3 4
Brandon Morse (WP) and Levi Briese; Kakelelic (LP), Strong (4) and Barrow, Gysberg.
NORTHSTARS - Steve Heberly 4-5 (2 RBI), Adam Jensen 2-3 (2 RBI), Daine Solomon 2-3 (3 RBI), Dusty Heath 2-3 (2 RBI), Tyler Thompson 1-4 (1 RBI), Ian Spencer 0-1 (1 RBI), Tyson Roe 1-1, Cory Junck 0-3, Mark Benjamin 1-4, Levi Briese 1-3.
STALLIONS - Strong 1-2, Gysberg 0-2, Kakelecik 1-2, Carroll 1-2, Oatman 0-1, Griffith 0-2, Barrow 0-2, Kovatch 0-2, Remus 0-2.
2B - Heberly, Jensen 2
3B - none
HR - none
Havre Northstars 334 66 - 22 13 0
Great Falls Stallions 'A' 000 00 - 0 11 0
Ian Spencer (WP) and Daine Solomon; Remus (LP), Carroll (2) and Barrows.
NORTHSTARS - Steve Heberly 2-4 (3 RBI), Adam Jensen 3-5 (4 RBI), Daine Solomon 3-5 (4 RBI), Dusty Heath 0-4, Tyler Thompson 2-4 (1 RBI), Levi Briese 0-3, Cory Junck 1-3, Tyson Roe 2-4 (1 RBI), Brandon Morse 0-3 (2 RBI).
STALLIONS - Strong 0-2, Murry 0-1, Kakelecik 1-2, Carroll 0-2, Oatman 0-2, Barrows 0-2, Kovatch 0-2, Gysberg 0-2, Griffith 0-1.
2B - Heberly, Jensen, Solomon, Thompson
3B - Jensen
HR - Solomon