By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editorfirstname.lastname@example.org
If it's a Wednesday night, it must mean that Comets and Northstars are hooking up for a little Northern District baseball action.
The two Havre squads meet tonight for the third time this season at 7 p.m. at Legion Field.
The Comets are coming off a pair of losses to the Medicine Hat Knights this past weekend. And although they didn't pick up any wins, Comets head coach Bob Evans was still pretty happy with the way his team played.
"We played pretty well this weekend," Evans said. "Our pitchers threw strike and we were in both games. It was pretty fun. I think that they're getting better with each game they play."
A week ago, the Comets led for close to six innings of their game against the Northstars, but as has been the case in the past a few bad innings with some walks and errors killed the Comets hopes.
For tonight's game, Evans isn't quite sure who will get the starting nod on the mound for the Comets. He had initially wanted to start Trent Normandy, but an ankle injury to Tony Christian will force Normandy to play the field in his absence.
Instead, Ben Erickson most likely will get the start, but Bret Magelssen and Tyson Anderson could also start.
"Ben is really due to throw," Evans said. "He hasn't thrown in over a month."
The Comets are in the midst of a short break from games this week. They play the Northstars tonight and again on Saturday night and then take a week off, so Evans feels it's critical to get all his pitchers a little work.
It's the opposite for the Northstars. After playing sporadically in May, this week marks the beginning of a two-week stretch where they will play 12 games before their annual tournament. Head coach Mickey Williams finally has his entire team back with spring sports ending this past weekend.
He will go with Chazz Hurlburt on the mound tonight, but said that Steve Heberly also will see some time on the mound.
Heberly hasn't pitched, or played for that matter, in quite some time and Williams will look to get him back to baseball form.
Also back is Daine Solomon, who was splitting time with tennis. Solomon, who normally plays outfield, may see some time at catcher tonight. Williams is going to break Solomon in behind the plate because he will lose one of his two catchers, Levi Briese, for 17 games later in the season. Briese is headed to the the Down Under Bowl, which is a football game in Australia, and Williams knows he needs a second catcher for the dog-days of summer.
"We used Daine at catcher when he first came up to Legion," Williams said. "We'll try to work him in to get used to it."
Perhaps the biggest key to finally have a full roster will be the solidifying of defensive positions and the pitching rotation. Williams in the past month has filled holes and played people in different positions. But now with everyone back and the focus on baseball, that will change.
"All the other stuff is done and they can focus on baseball," Williams said. "We have our rotation set up and people playing in their normal positions."