By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editoremail@example.com
In far from ideal baseball conditions, the Havre Comets were able to pick up a pair of wins in a three-game series with the Kate Andrews High School Pride.
Havre swept a doubleheader on a windswept chilly Sunday night, but lost a nine-inning game on a windy and rainy Monday night.
Playing in the best weather of the two days, Havre's Sean Peterson pitched the Comets to a 5-4 win over the Pride early Sunday evening.
Peterson pitched all seven innings for a complete game win, allowing seven hits in the win.
"Sean really pitched well," said Comets head coach Andy Smith. "He pitched the whole game and threw a lot of pitches, but he really did a nice job. He had pretty good control, got ahead of batters and didn't walk very many people, which is what we want."
With Peterson holding the Pride batters at bay, the Comets strung together enough baserunners and timely hits to get the win.
Jeff Tibbals, John Christian, Austin Small, Jess McLain, Josh Morse and Richard Jarvis all picked up hits in the win. Jarvis led the Havre offense, driving in a pair of runs while scoring a run. Morse scored a pair of runs, while Bryden Vukasin, Christian and Small all drove in runs.
In a very cold five-inning nightcap, Havre showed a little heart ,rallying from a two-run deficit in the bottom of the fifth to score two runs and steal a win.
The Comets actually rallied twice late in the game after losing leads.
Starting pitcher Tom Knudson was sharp in four innings of work, taking a 3-1 lead into the top of the fourth, but surrendered four runs with two outs in the fourth.
"Tom was doing a good job on the mound," Smith said. "He was keeping them off balance. There were a couple of plays that we could have made to keep him in there."
Trailing 5-4 going into the bottom of the fourth, Havre scored a pair of runs to take a 6-5 lead. But Kate Andrews rallied with a pair of its own runs off reliever John Christian in the top of the fifth to retake the lead going into Havre's last at-bat.
"We had a little snow ball fight in that inning," Smith said. "We started throwing the ball all over the field and made some mental mistakes that let them back in the game."
But Havre wasn't out. The Comets managed to get runners to second and third with two outs left in the inning. Peterson rolled a soft grounder up the middle, but beat the throw from the second baseman to get an infield hit.
Smith didn't hesitate on trying to pick up the win. He waved the runner on second, Scott Ladenburg, home on the play. The first baseman's throw was wide on the ensuing play at home and Ladenburg slid in for the game-winning run.
"Sean did a good job of hustling down the line," Smith said. "And I didn't hesitate sending Scott home because I knew it would have taken a good throw to get him out."
Christian picked up the win in relief of Knudson. The Comets were led offensively by Jarvis, McLain and Small. Jarvis was 2-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. McLain was also 2-3 with two RBIs. Small picked up two hits, scored two runs and drove in a run. Peterson got the game-tying and game-winning RBIs, while Mike Olson also added a pair RBIs in the game.
"We showed some heart coming back twice in that game," Smith said. "They could've folded when we lost the lead late in the game, but they didn't. They battled back and won the game."
All of the emotion from Sunday's win was gone on Monday. Havre looked a bit frostbitten, playing in a cold driving rain and bone chilling wind in a 17-7 loss to Kate Andrews in seven innings.
The Pride got to starter Austin Small early in the game and never looked back. Kate Andrews also roughed up reliever Jess McLain as well. Havre didn't help itself, committing several errors in the contest.
"We just didn't come ready to play," Smith said. "I think they thought they could just show up and get the win."
While playing conditions were far from ideal, Smith wasn't allowing his team any excuses.
"It's hard to get excited when it's that nasty out," he said. "But the other team had to play in that situation, too, and it didn't seem to bother them."
The weekend also took its toll on Smith's team personnel-wise. Starting second baseman Jeff Tibbals and starting rightfielder Tyson Anderson had a nasty collision in the first game. Tibbals suffered a fairly deep cut on his face and a possible broken nose. He didn't play the rest of the series, while Anderson twisted his ankle and sat out the remaining games as well.
Even with the injuries, Smith knows that any games his team can play will only make them better.
"I was pretty happy overall," Smith said. "We need as many games as possible to get the kids used to playing at this level. Everyone got to play a lot of innings, and we are getting better with every game."
The Comets were scheduled to play the Havre Northstars on Wednesday night in conference action. However, the recent spate of snow and cold weather has postponed the game to a later date, according to manager Mickey Williams.
Havre Comets 5, Kate Andrews 4
Sean Peterson (WP) and Josh Morse.
COMETS HITTING - Jeff Tibbals 1-2, John Christian 1-3 (RBI), Austin Small 1-3 (RBI), Mike Olson 0-3, Tyson Anderson 0-3, Jess McLain 1-3, Josh Morse 1-2, Scott Ladenburg 0-0, Bryden Vukasin 0-3, Richard Jarvis 1-1 (2 RBI)
2B - none
3B - none
HR - none
Havre Comets 8, Kate Andrews 7
Tom Knudson (4), John Christian (WP) and Josh Morse.
COMETS HITTING - Sean Peterson 1-4 (2 RBI), Richard Jarvis 2-2, Austin Small 2-2 (RBI), Jess McLain 2-3 (2 RBI), Josh Lowe 1-3, Tom Knudson 0-3, Mike Olson 0-1 (2 RBI), John Christian 1-3, Josh Morse 0-2, Scott Ladenburg 0-0.
2B - Small
3B - none
HR - none
Kate Andrews 17, Havre Comets 7
No official stats available.