By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editorfirstname.lastname@example.org
It's funny how good pitching can suddenly lead to good hitting. The Havre Northstars got a pair of stellar pitching performances and their slumbering bats awoke to finish with a 2-1 record in their remaining three games of the Havre Baseball Jamboree.
On Saturday night, Havre got a gem of a performance from Cory Junck as he allowed just one hit and no earned runs in a complete game, 10-1 win over the Gallatin Valley Outlaws. With a strong fastball, Junck overpowered the Outlaw hitters and the Northstar defense played solidly behind him in the win.
Junck walked the opening batter of the game and had a no-hitter until the top of the sixth. It was broken up by Outlaw Daniel Corbin's soft ground ball up the middle. Corbin later scored on an error, but that was the extent of the Outlaw offense. Junck struck out four batters in the game and shut down the normally potent Gallatin Valley bats.
Offensively, the Northstars capitalized on six Gallatin Valley errors with timely hitting to pick up the win. Tyler Thompson drove in three runs with a pair of singles while Daine Solomon added a pair of hits, scored three runs and had an RBI in the win.
Thompson nearly matched Junck's mound mastery on Sunday. Thompson allowed just two hits and no runs in five innings of work as the Northstars shut out the Helena Reps 11-0 in five innings. He allowed just a pair of singles while striking out four batters and walking just one.
The Northstars pounded out 11 hits on Helena pitching as they scored in every inning and ended the game as quickly as it started. Every Northstar player that batted either had a hit or drove in a run in the contest. Solomon led the way again with a pair of hits and two RBIs. Adam Jensen and Ian Spencer each had a pair of hits and an RBI in the win.
Havre's only loss on the weekend came on Friday as the Northstars were stymied by the Bitterroot Red Sox 9-6.
The Northstars and the Red Sox, two of the top teams in Class A, each hurt themselves with errors allowing big innings in the game. In the top of third, Havre committed an error and had two costly wild pitches from pitcher Brandon Morse that led to five Bitterroot runs.
Bitterroot starter Joe Franklin was tough early as the Northstars managed just one run in the first five innings.
However, with Franklin out, the Havre bats came to life with a little help from the Red Sox. The Northstars scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning thanks to a pair of Red Sox errors and a triple from Junck to pull within one at 7-6.
But, the Red Sox capitalized on three walks, a hit batsman and another wild pitch in the top of the seventh to add two more runs.
Havre couldn't answer in the bottom of the seventh and suffered its only loss on the weekend.
Offensively, the Northstars were led by Steve Heberly with two hits. Junck had two RBIs while Chazz Hurlburt and Tyson Roe also drove in runs.
Morse took the loss on the mound, allowing eight runs on just five hits. However, the young starter struggled with his control, walking six batters, hitting three and throwing three wild pitches.
The Northstars return to action on Tuesday as they travel to Great Falls to take on the Great Falls Stallions A squad in a Northern District doubleheader.
Bitterroot Red Sox 005 011 2 - 9 5 2
Havre Northstars 010 005 0 - 6 8 4
Joe Franklin (4), Brian Curran (WP) and Kevin Lokken; Brandon Morse (LP) and Adam Jensen.
RED SOX - Kyle Melton 1-4, Davey DeSantiago 0-3, Joe Franklin 1-2, Kevin Lokken 1-3, Shane Fisk 1-3, Jordan Mousely 0-2, Kyle Ihde 0-2, Cory Tintzman 1-3, Brett Henry 0-2.
NORTHSTARS - Steve Heberly 2-4, Adam Jensen 0-2, Daine Solomon 1-4, Dusty Heath 1-4, Tyler Thompson 1-4, Chazz Hurlburt 1-1 (1 RBI), Mark Benjamin 0-3, Cory Junck 1-3 (2 RBI), Tyson Roe 1-3 (1 RBI)
2B - none
3B - Heberly, Hurlburt, Junck
HR - none.
Gallatin Valley Outlaws 000 001 0 - 1 1 6
Havre Northstars 310 042 X - 10 6 3
Jeremy Knowles (LP) and Justin Chaffins; Cory Junck (WP) and Adam Jensen.
OUTLAWS - Jesse Dykstra 0-1, David Knobel 0-1, Kyle Clark 0-2, Kevin Smith 0-1, Zeb Miller 0-3, Justin Chaffins 0-3, Dan Brooks 0-2, Tony Janecaro 0-1, Jeremy Knowles 0-3, Toby Marx 0-3, Shane Thurston 0-2, Daniel Corbin 1-2.
NORTHSTARS - Steve Heberly 0-3, Adam Jensen 1-4, Daine Solomon 2-3 (1 RBI), Dusty Heath 0-4, Tyler Thompson 2-4 (3 RBI), Chazz Hurlburt 1-3 (1 RBI), Mark Benjamin 1-3, Ian Spencer 0-2 (1 RBI), Levi Briese 0-3.
2B - none
3B - none
HR - none
Helena Reps 000 00 - 0 2 2
Havre Northstars 324 2X - 11 11 2
Cole Whitmoyer (LP), Willie Parriman (4) and Kasey Halcro; Tyler Thompson (WP) and Adam Jensen, Levi Briese (4).
REPS - Tom Bischoff 0-2, Josh Wheat 0-2, Kasey Halcro 1-2, Josh Underkofler 1-2, Brandon Moe 0-2, Matt Tummel 0-2, Troy Campbell 0-1, Matt Hustad 1-2, Jay Anderson 0-1.
NORTHSTARS - Steve Heberly 1-2, Adam Jensen 2-3 (1 RBI), Daine Solomon 2-2 (2 RBI), Dusty Heath 1-2 (1 RBI), Chazz Hurlburt 0-0 (1 RBI), Ian Spencer 2-2 (1 RBI), Cory Junck 1-3 (1 RBI), Tyson Roe 0-0 (1 RBI), Mark Benjamin 1-1 (1 RBI), Brandon Morse 1-1.
2B - Heberly, Jensen
3B - Junck
HR - none
Misktakes hurt Comets in losses
No one will ever accuse the Havre Comets of not making games interesting. But after coming from behind in three consecutive wins, the scrappy Comets' comeback attempts came up short in their remaining three games of the Havre Baseball Jamboree at Legion Field.
The Comets dropped a tough 4-1 loss to the Lewistown Redbirds in a rain shortened contest on Friday night. The Comets were rallying from the three-run deficit in the bottom of the sixth when a monster thunderstorm rolled in from the north, stopping action and ending the game.
The Comets hurt themselves with a pair of costly errors that led to a pair of Redbird runs in the fifth inning that secured the win. Northstar starter Bret Magelssen pitched solidly, giving up just two earned runs in six innings of work while allowing six hits and walking none.
Havre's only run came in the second inning when Jordon Patterson led off with a double and scored on Kaare Engebretson's double to left. Patch Wirtzberger had a pair of hits in the game for the Comets.
On Saturday, errors continued to haunt the Comets as they committed seven costly ones in an 11-7 loss to the Kootenai Valley Rangers. Of the Rangers' 11 runs, only five were earned. Havre spotted the Rangers four quick runs in the first three innings, two of them coming on a dropped fly ball. The Comets were still in the game trailing 4-2. However, the fourth inning would prove just as tough as two more Comet errors led to four Ranger runs to extend the lead to 8-2.
Havre chipped away at the lead, picking up two runs in the bottom of the fifth on Kaare Engebretson's RBI double. The Comets got a little help from the Rangers in the sixth as a pair of Kootenai Valley errors led to a three-run inning. But Havre couldn't manage any runs in its final at-bat.
Trent Normandy took the loss for Havre, allowing just four earned runs in six innings while surrendering 11 hits. The Comets were led offensively by Patterson, who finished 3-4 with an RBI.
On Sunday, the fielding woes for the Comets ended, but the base-running woes began. A base-running miscommunication on a short fly ball cost Havre a big inning and kept the Helena Reps in the game and allowed them to outlast the Comets 11-9 in nine innings.
In the bottom of the sixth inning with runners on first and second, nobody out and the game tied at six, Patterson lifted a short fly ball that was dropped on a diving attempt by Helena right fielder Willie Barriman.
However, Barriman was still able to get the force-out at second base and Patterson, who thought the ball had been caught, was tagged out as he left first base on his way back to the dugout.
The double play killed a potentially big rally and kept the Reps in the game. They promptly capitalized, scoring two more runs in the top of the seventh to take an 8-6 lead.
The Comets rallied as Bret Magelssen was hit by a pitch to open the inning and Wirtzberger walked. Both eventually scored to tie the game at 8-8.
After a scoreless eighth inning, Helena's Barriman laced a double to left off of reliever Jeff Tibbals that scored a pair of runs. Barriman later scored, giving Helena an 11-8 lead. Havre managed a run in the bottom of the ninth, but Bryden Vukasin grounded into a double play to end the game.
Tibbals took the loss in relief of Tyson Anderson. Offensively, Tibbals, Magelssen and Mike Olson each had a pair of hits in the loss.
The Comets return to action on Thursday when they host the Great Falls Stallions A squad in a Northern District doubleheader.
Lewistown Redbirds 010 021 - 3 6 1
Havre Comets 010 00X - 1 4 3
Vince Bride (WP) and Chris Otto; Bret Magelssen (LP) and Patch Wirtzberger.
REDBIRDS - Vince Bride 0-3, Jeff Ernst 0-2, Doug Longfellow 1-3, Jon Byerly 0-3, Chris Otto 2-3, Brady Ernst 1-3, Chris Byerly 1-3, Bryce Stewart 0-2, Josh Roane 0-1, Nick Kamp 1-2.
COMETS - Jeff Tibbals 0-3, Tony Christian 1-3, Patch Wirtzberger 2-3, Coda Tchida 1-3, Jordon Patterson 1-3, Kaare Engebretson 1-2, Tyson Anderson 0-2, Ben Erickson 0-2, Bryden Vukasin 0-1, Trent Normandy 0-1,
2B - Patterson, Engebretson
3B - Longfellow, Otto
HR - none.
Kootenai Valley Rangers 103 402 1 - 11 12 5
Havre Comets 020 023 0 - 7 7 7
Zac Fleming (WP) and Clint Kolchefsky; Trent Normandy (LP), Jeff Tibbals (7) and Patch Wirtzberger.
RANGERS - Pat Mirek 2-5, Zac Fleming 1-4, Clint Kolchefsky 3-5, Zack Nieusma 2-3, Mike Broom 1-3, Dain Schumacher 0-4, Colter Comstock 2-4, Matt Peltier 0-4, Drew Shay 1-4.
COMETS - Patch Wirtzberger 1-4 (1 RBI), Tony Christian 0-4, Kaare Engebretson 1-4 (1 RBI), Coda Tchida 0-4, Jordon Patterson 3-4 (1 RBI), Ben Erickson 0-4, Bret Magelssen 0-2, Mike Olson 1-3, Eric Fanning 1-1 ( 1RBI)
2B - Mirek, Nieusma 2, Engebretson
3B - Comstock
HR - none
Helena Reps 000 402 203 - 11 14 3
Havre Comets 132 000 201 - 9 12 1
Josh Underkofler (6), Jay Anderson (7), Troy Campbell (WP) and Kasey Halcro; Tyson Anderson (8), Jeff Tibbals (LP) and Mike Olson, Patch Wirtzberger (8).
REPS - Tom Bischoff 1-5, Willie Barriman 1-6, Kasey Halcro 2-4, Josh Underkofler 4-6, Josh Wheat 4-6, Cole Whitmoyer 0-5, Matt Tummel 0-5, Jay Anderson 1-4, James Hopkins 1-4.
COMETS - Jeff Tibbals 2-5 (1 RBI), Tony Christian 1-5, Jordon Patterson 1-5 (1 RBI), Trent Normandy 0-4, Kaare Engebretson 1-5, Bret Magelssen 2-4, Mike Olson 2-3, Patch Wirtzberger 0-1, Tyson Anderson 1-4 (1 RBI), Bryden Vukasin 1-5 (1 RBI).
2B - Bischoff, Barriman, Wheat
3B - Halcro
HR - none