By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editoremail@example.com
When you throw strikes, good things happen. Just ask the Havre Comets. With their pitchers throwing strikes and making batters put the ball in play, the Comets picked up a key sweep over the Great Falls Stallions A squad Thursday at Legion Field.
Havre starters Ben Erickson and Bret Magelssen both showed excellent control in both games and the Havre defense played almost error free baseball in both games.
"Our two kids pitched really well," said Comets coach Bob Evans. "They threw a lot of strikes. But we also played good defense and didn't make any mistakes in the field."
Indeed, the Comets made all of the routine plays and sprinkled in a couple of great plays to give their pitchers plenty of confidence.
"Making routine plays gets you out of innings," Evans said. "We didn't do that early in the season and it hurt us."
In the opening game, Erickson was strong early and weathered a tough seventh inning to pick up a 10-5 win. The Comet starter didn't allow a run until the fourth inning and despite giving up 11 hits still found a way to get the win. Havre grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the first inning as Jeff Tibbals scored on an error and Kaare Engebretson also scored on Tyson Anderson's single.
The Comets tacked on four more runs in the fourth inning with Bret Magelssen and Engebretson picking up RBI singles.
Havre added three more in the fifth inning and another in the sixth to take a 10-1 lead.
Great Falls started to get to Erickson a little in the top of the seventh, as they scored four runs on seven hits, but he kept his composure to get the final three outs to get the win.
Tibbals led the Comets offensively with three hits and a pair of RBIs. Patch Wirtzberger, Trent Normandy and Tyson Anderson collected a pair of hits each.
In the nightcap, Magelssen pitched perhaps his best game of the season, giving up just one run on seven hits while striking out five batters and walking none in a 3-1.
Great Falls' lone run came in the top of the fifth as Tyson Wald got on with a single and scored later in the inning. Magelssen was aided in the game by a pair of double plays and a nice play from Normandy, who tossed out Jeff Carroll, as he was trying to stretch a single into a double.
Offensively, Havre wasn't as potent as the first game, but the Comets managed to pick up enough timely hits to score some runs.
Normandy and Jordon Patterson picked up RBIs in the third inning to take a 2-0 lead. Tony Christian added a sacrifice fly, scoring Erickson in the fourth for Havre's other run.
Tibbals had three hits again for Havre while Wirtzberger and Erickson each had a pair of hits.
The Comets will return to action on Sunday in a make-up against the Tri-County Cardinals at 1 p.m. at Legion Field.
Great Falls Stallions A 000 101 3 - 5 11 2
Havre Comets 200 431 X- 10 13 1
Gysberg (LP), DeBolt and Burrow; Ben Erickson (WP) and Patch Wirtzberger.
STALLIONS - Stong 1-4, Murry 1-4, Kakalecik 2-3, Oatman 2-4, Burrows 2-4, Griffith 1-4, Wald 2-3, Hedstrom 0-4, Gysberg 0-2.
COMETS - Jeff Tibbals 3-4 (2 RBI), Patch Wirtzberger 2-3 (1 RBI), Kaare Engebretson 1-2 (1 RBI), Trent Normandy 2-3 (2 RBI), Jordon Patterson 1-1, Bret Magelssen 1-2 (1 RBI), Tyson Anderson 2-2, Eric Fanning 0-2. Mik Olson 0-3.
2B - Tibbals, Oatman
3B - Burrows
HR - none
Great Falls Stallions A 000 001 0 - 1 7 2
Havre Comets 002 100 X- 3 13 0
Kovatch (LP) and Burrow; Bret Magelssen (WP) and Mike Olson
STALLIONS - Stong 2-4, Murry 0-1, Kovatch 1-2, Kakalecik 0-3, Carroll 0-3, Gysberg 1-3, Oatman 1-3, Burrow 0-3, Wald 1-3, DeBolt 1-2, Remus 0-1.
COMETS - Jeff Tibbals 3-4, Tony Christian 1-2 (1 RBI), Patch Wirtzberger 2-3, Trent Normandy 1-2 (2 RBI), Coda Tchida 0-1, Jordon Patterson 1-3, Kaare Engebretson 0-3, Mike Olson 0-3, Ben Erickson 2-2, Bryden Vukasin 1-2.
2B - Gysberg
3B - none
HR - none