By Ryan Divish
It's definitely a trend that Havre Northstars manager Mickey Williams wants to see changed.
For the second straight day, the Northstars played extremely well in the opening game of a doubleheader with a 9-3 win over the Great Falls Stallions AA squad at Legion Park in Great Falls.
And for the second straight day, Havre came out less than stellar in the nightcap, falling 7-2 to the Stallions.
"We've been doing that a lot lately," Williams admitted. "I don't know if we let down a little or just figure the second game will come easier, but we need to be a little more consistent."
If the Northstars consistently played like they did in the first game, they probably wouldn't lose a game. Havre cranked out 14 hits, including three doubles, a triple and a home run, while not committing a single error in the nonconference win.
"We played about as well as we have all year in that first game," Williams said. "We hit the ball and made all the plays in the field."
Havre broke open a scoreless game in the top of third, scoring six runs on six hits. Ian Spencer laced a two-run triple to get the Northstars going. Trent Normandy scored Spencer with a single, Ricky Houim added a two-run double and Eric Fanning had an RBI single as Havre pulled ahead 6-0.
Havre added two more runs in the fourth as Spencer and Normandy singled and later scored on Jordon Patterson's double.
The Northstars added another run in the sixth on a Spencer solo home run.
While the Northstars bats were clicking, Chase Castloo held the Stallions at bay with some solid pitching. Castloo worked six innings, allowing just three runs on seven hits and walking just two innings. Brandon Morse came in for Castloo in the seventh and pitched a scoreless inning.
"Chase pitched pretty well," Williams said. "His biggest thing is keeping his walks down. When he can do that, he is very tough to beat."
Spencer and Solomon finished with three hits each to lead the Havre offense. Normandy and Houim added two hits a piece.
In the nightcap, Havre just couldn't get anything going offensively, picking up just three hits and two runs off of Stallions starter Paul Gysberg.
Great Falls grabbed an early 2-0 lead on a two-run single by Jake Thares off of Normandy. The Northstars answered with a run in the second as Bret Magelssen drove in Jeff Tibbals with a single.
The Stallions added a run in the third, capitalized on a pair of walks in the fifth to score three runs and added another run in the sixth to take a 7-1 lead.
Havre scored a run in the seventh as Jordon Patterson led off with a single and later scored on Morse's sacrifice fly. But the rally ended there.
"I don't know what we were doing wrong in that game," Williams said. "It's not that their pitcher was that overpowering. We just didn't hit many balls hard and the ones we did were right at somebody."
Normandy took the loss, allowing 10 hits and six earned runs in six innings. Patterson, Magelssen and Ben Erickson picked up Havre's only hits.
"They were still pretty good games," Williams said. "Obviously, we'd like to win both of them, but we couldn't get much going in the second game."
The Northstars return to Great Falls today to face the Great Falls Sparkies in a Northern District doubleheader.