By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editoremail@example.com
The Havre Northstars are making it look easy. Their pitchers are throwing strikes, their defense is making plays and their offense is scoring plenty of runs.
The lethal combination continued Wednesday night as the Northstars rolled over the Fort MacLeod Royals in a Northern District doubleheader at Legion Field.
The Northstars put away the Royals almost as soon as the doubleheader began, scoring a pair of five-inning wins via the 10-run mercy rule and ending the two games in just over two hours.
"We were pretty sharp," said manager Mickey Williams after the game. "We came out tonight very focused and put them away early. When you know you have the stronger team, it's easy to let up. But the kids didn't do that tonight."
Havre jumped on the Royals early, scoring three runs in its first at-bat as Patch Wirtzberger and Ricky Houim had RBI singles. Really, the three runs in the first would have been sufficient for starting pitcher Bret Magelssen, who picked up his team-high tenth win of the season.
Magelssen allowed just two runs on three hits while striking out four batters.
"Bret did what he always does which is throw strikes and rely on his defense," Williams said. "He kept the ball down in the strike zone for the most part. He had a little trouble in the fifth inning, but worked his way out of it."
Indeed, MacLeod's two runs came in the fifth as Magelssen surrendered an RBI single to Josh Hutchins and then loaded the bases with a pair of hits batsmen. Magelssen walked in a run before settling down to strike out Todd VanDriesten to end the rally.
While Magelssen was cruising along, the Northstars offense was in a nice little rhythm. Havre hung six runs on MacLeod in the second inning Wirtzberger, Ian Spencer and Cory Junck all notched RBI singles.
Havre continued to score runs adding two in the third on another RBI single from Wirtzberger and two more in the fourth with Trent Normandy and Spencer driving in runs.
Daine Solomon finished with 4-4 with three doubles and four runs scored, while Wirtzberger had three hits, three RBIs and two runs scored. Cory Junck had a pair of hits and an RBI for Havre.
"We hit the ball hard and we got hits when we needed to," Williams said. "The big thing is that we didn't let up after we got the nine-run lead."
If the opening game lacked excitement, the nightcap was even less suspenseful as the Northstars picked up a 10-0 win.
Spencer was dominant on the mound allowing no runs and just two hits, while striking out five batters and walking none.
Both of MacLeod's hits came from centerfielder Dale Scobie. With the exception of a hits batsmen, Scobie was the only Royal to reach base and make it as far as second base.
"Ian pitched great," Williams said. "He got ahead of batters in the count and was hitting his spots. He looked pretty dominating at times. Our defense also did a nice job backing up. We didn't commit an error in the game which is always big."
Really, with Spencer holding the Royals scoreless, one run would have been good enough to win the game. Instead, the Northstars scored a bunch, starting with three runs in the first inning, capitalizing on a pair of Royal errors.
Havre added two in the second as Spencer helped his own cause with an RBI single. Wirtzberger's two-run single and Solomon's RBI single in the third cushioned the Northstars lead.
Havre pushed it to 10 runs in the fourth as Chase Castloo punctuated the inning with an RBI single to left.
Wirtzberger continued to have the hot bat with two hits and two RBIs. Spencer had three hits and Junck had two for the Northstars.
The Northstars had originally been scheduled to play Glasgow in a non-conference doubleheader. However, Glasgow cancelled because of lack of players. The Northstars will instead play the Havre Comets in non-conference doubleheader starting at 6 p.m.
Havre 13, Fort MacLeod 2
Fort MacLeod Royals 000 02 - 2 3 4
Havre Northstars 362 2X - 13 13 2
C. Schultz (2), G. Gibos(2) and Wilson; Bret Magelssen and Ricky Houim.
WP - Magelssen; LP - Schultz.
ROYALS HITTING - Hutchins 1-3, Wilson 0-0, Holtz 0-2, Scobie 0-1, Margetak 0-2, Schultz 0-2, Gibboney 0-1, VanDriestan 0-2, Amatto 0-2, Gibos 1-2, Chester 1-2.
NORTHSTARS HITTING - Daine Solomon 4-4 (2 RBI), Patch Wirtzberger 3-3 (3 RBI), Ian Spencer 1-3 (2 RBI), Trent Normandy 1-3 (RBI), Jordon Patterson 1-4, Cory Junck 2-4 (RBI), Ricky Houim 1-3 (RBI), Ben Erickson 0-1, Jeff Tibbals 0-2.
2B - Solomon 3
3B - none
HR - none
Havre 10, Fort MacLeod 0
Fort MacLeod Royals 000 00 - 0 2 5
Havre Northstars 323 2X - 10 10 0
Lester and Schultz; Ian Spencer and Patch Wirtzberger.
WP - Spencer; LP - Wirtzberger.
ROYALS HITTING - Schultz 0-2, Wilson 0-2, Scobie 2-2, Amatto 0-2, Gibboney 0-2, Gibos 0-1, Lester 0-2, Holtz 0-2, VanDriesten 0-2.
NORTHSTARS HITTING - Daine Solomon 1-3 (RBI), Patch Wirtzberger 2-3 (2 RBI), Ian Spencer 3-3 (RBI), Trent Normandy 0-3, Jordon Patterson 0-3, Cory Junck 2-3, Ben Erickson 0-2, Chase Castloo 1-2, Eric Fanning 1-2.
2B - none
3B - none
HR - none