By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editoremail@example.com
The Havre Northstars broke a few bats, but they didn't break any windows.
The Northstars struggled with the adjustment to wood bats during the Vester Wilson Wood Bat Tournament in Hamilton, finishing with a 1-3 record in four games.
"We just didn't hit the ball," said head coach Mickey Williams. "We didn't get any extra base hits, and we didn't get hits with runners in scoring position. Some of it had to do with the wood bats, but we still have to get hits regardless of what we're swinging."
Havre opened the tournament with its third loss of the season to the defending Class A state champion Bitterroot Red Sox 8-3 on Friday night.
The Red Sox broke open a 3-3 game in later innings, scoring the go-ahead run in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth inning on a pair of Havre errors to take a 7-3 lead. They tacked on another run in the seventh.
Havre scored a pair of the runs in the first inning, thanks to a fielder's choice and an RBI double from Ian Spencer.
Havre's other run came in the third inning as Ricky Houim drove in Trent Normandy with a single.
Despite banging out nine hits, Havre scored just the three runs, stranding 10 runners on base. The Northstar defense struggled a little, committing five errors.
Chase Castloo took the loss for the Northstars, allowing just five hits, but walking six batters.
Normandy led the Havre offense with three hits and a run scored. Patch Wirtzberger and Jordon Patterson added two hits each.
The Northstars dropped their second game of the tournament on Saturday morning with a 4-2 loss to the Bitterroot Bucs.
Bitterroot grabbed two runs in the first inning off Northstar starter Cory Junck on a two-run single from Cam Edman. Junck settled down over the next three innings, but gave up two more runs in the fifth inning on a passed ball and an RBI single from Chance Edman.
Havre tried to rally in the sixth on an RBI single from Houim. But the rally came up short as the Northstars tallied just one run in the seventh inning to fall to the Bucs.
The Northstars picked up just six hits in the game while striking out seven times and leaving 11 runners on base. Even more frustrating for Williams was that the Northstars had five strikeouts with runners in scoring position.
"We can't expect to win games leaving that many runners on base," Williams said. "The strikeouts are even worse. We have to put the ball in play, especially with runners in scoring position to at least give ourselves a chance."
The Northstars picked up their only win of the tournament on Saturday night with a 3-1 win over the Mission Valley Mariners.
Trailing 1-0, Havre scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. A pair of Mariner errors, a bases-loaded walk and a Jeff Tibbals single gave the Northstars a 3-1 lead.
Brandon Morse shut the Mariners down in the final two innings to pick up the win. Morse allowed just three hits while striking out nine batters. Morse walked just two hitters and only had two batters make it to third base.
"Brandon pitched pretty well," Williams said. "He got ahead of hitters and threw a lot of strikes. Our defense did a good job of making plays in the game."
It was a good thing, because Havre clipped just two hits - singles from Wirtzberger and Houim - in the game.
The cold Northstar hitting turned positively frigid on Sunday in a 2-0 loss to a team from Kennewick, Wash. Havre managed just one hit - a Wirtzberger single in the bottom of the seventh in the game.
The lack of offense spoiled an otherwise solid outing from pitcher Bret Magelssen, who took the tough loss. Magelssen allowed two runs on three hits in the first inning and then settled down to hold Kennewick hitless over the next six innings.
"It was pretty much the same thing that happened in our other losses," Williams said. "We got good pitching from Bret and played good defense, but we just didn't hit. One hit just doesn't cut it against any team."
The Northstars return to action on Tuesday when they face the Lethbridge Miners in Northern District action at Legion Field starting at 3 p.m.
Bitterroot 8, Havre 3
Bitterroot Red Sox 201 013 1 - 8 5 1
Havre Northstars 201 000 0 - 3 9 5
Dan Eccles (WP), Cory Tintzman and Patrick McKay; Chase Castloo and Ricky Houim.
RED SOX HITTING - Melton 0-5, Mousley 2-4, Henry 0-1, Franklin 3-4, Curran 0-4, McKay 0-3, Anderson 0-4, DeSantiago 1-2, Gardiner 1-3.
NORTHSTAR HITTING - Patch Wirtzberger 2-4, Jeff Tibbals 0-1, Daine Solomon 0-3, Ian Spencer 1-4 (RBI), Trent Normandy 3-4, Cory Junck 0-2, Ben Erickson 1-3, Ricky Houim 1-3 (RBI), Jordon Patterson 2-3.
2B - Franklin 2, Spencer
3B - none
HR - none
Bitterroot Bucs 4, Havre 2
Bitterroot Bucs 200 020 0 - 4 8 1
Havre Northstars 000 001 1 - 2 6 1
Matt Henry (WP) and Kailun Ostheimer; Cory Junck (LP) and Ricky Houim.
BUCS HITTING - Perez 3-4, Henderson 1-3, Edman 1-3, Shepherd 0-3, Edman 2-3, LeClaire 0-3, Pecvick 0-3, Penn 1-3, Ostheimer 0-2.
NORTHSTARS HITTING - Patch Wirtzberger 1-3, Jeff Tibbals 0-3, Daine Solomon 1-4, Ian Spencer 1-4, Trent Normandy 1-2, Ben Erickson 0-2, Ricky Houim 1-2 (RBI), Jordon Patterson 1-2, Bret Magelssen 0-3.
2B - Perez,
3B - none
HR - none
Havre 3, Mission Valley 1
Mission Valley Mariners 001 000 0 - 1 3 2
Havre Northstars 000 030 X - 3 2 1
Brandon Larson (LP) and Steve Larsen; Brandon Morse (WP) and Patch Wirtzberger.
MARINERS HITTING - Lundeen 1-3, Locke 1-3, Gordon 0-3, Larson 0-2, Bosley 0-1, Larsen 1-3, Locke 0-2, Willet 0-1, Torgison 0-3, Wallace 0-2.
NORTHSTARS HITTING - Tony Christian 1-2, Patch Wirtzberger 0-3, Ian Spencer 0-2 (RBI), Trent Normandy 1-3, Cory Junck 0-1, Jeff Tibbals 1-3 (RBI), Chase Castloo 0-2, Daine Solomon 0-3, Eric Fanning 0-3.
2B - none
3B - none
HR - none
Kennewick, Wash., 2, Havre 0
Kennewick 200 000 0 - 2 4 0
Havre Northstars 000 000 0 - 0 1 0
Paulson (WP) and Alvarez; Bret Magelssen (LP) and Ricky Houim.
KENNEWICK HITTING - Farrington 1-3, Millkauer 1-4, Goodman 1-3, Liniger 2-3, Alvarez 0-3, Paulson 0-3, Dunn 0-2, Beehler 0-2, Schmidt 1-3.
NORTHSTARS HITTING - Tony Christian 0-2, Eric Fanning 0-1, Patch Wirtzberger 1-3, Ian Spencer 0-2, Ben Erickson 0-1, Trent Normandy 0-3, Jordon Patterson 0-3, Daine Solomon 0-1, Cory Junck 0-1, Jeff Tibbals 0-1, Ricky Houim 1-2, Chase Castloo 0-1, Brandon Morse 0-1.
2B - none
3B - none
HR - none