Havre Daily News
The results were mixed this weekend for the Havre Northstars and Havre Comets in American Legion baseball action.
After a rough day on Saturday in Great Falls, the Northstars took their frustrations out on a Medicine Hat club that was clearly in over its head. The Northstars swept both games of the doubleheader by scores of 10-0 and 7-3 at Legion Field in Havre on Sunday afternoon.
Havre got off to a roaring start, as the Northstars lit up Knights pitcher David Culham for four runs in the bottom of the first inning to take an early 4-0 lead.
Sean Peterson started things off with a leadoff double, but was then caught attempting to steal third base. It appeared as though the Knights might be able to avoid the early trouble, but Culham quickly dug himself a deep hole by walking the next two batters in Austin Small and Anthony Wirtzberger. Then, three hits and three errors later, the Knights were suddenly staring at a 4-0 deficit.
After holding the Northstars scoreless in the second inning, things got out of hand quickly as the Knights gave up two more runs in the bottom of the third when Peterson connected on a two-run single giving the Northstars a 6-0 lead. In the very next inning against a new pitcher, the Northstars added three more runs on four hits to go ahead 9-0. They would tack on a run in the bottom of the fifth making the score 10-0 and ending the game because of the mercy rule.
“I am pretty pleased with the way that we played in the first game,” Northstar head coach Mickey Williams said. “We hit the ball pretty well and we were also able to capitalize on some mistakes they made, which gave us a little bit of an advantage.”
The second game of the doubleheader didn't go much better for the Knights. John Christian led the way early on for the Northstars, pitching three innings of shutout baseball.
The Havre offense also jumped out in front of Medicine Hat 4-0 just as it had in the previous game.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Knights showed signs of the life for the first time by notching three runs off five hits to trim the lead to one at 4-3.
Their new wave of momentum was short lived, however, as the Northstars quickly answered with their own three-run inning, using two wild pitches and a pair of hits to extend their lead to 7-3.
“We played well, but we are expected to beat these teams,” Williams said. “We got a couple good outings from our starting pitchers and we didn't make many mistakes, so that was a good thing to see. Even though our guys are expected to play that way, it is still nice to see them execute the way they did.”
On Saturday in Great Falls, the Northstars went head-to-head with the Great Falls Stallions (AA) squad and lost both games of the doubleheader by scores of 9-3 and 9-6.
Game one was controlled by the Stallions from start to finish. The Northstars managed a run in the top of the first to take an early lead, which was quickly erased after Great Falls racked up seven runs in two innings.
Jeremy Bates earned the victory for the Stallions after shutting down the Northstar attack throughout the contest. The loss was charged to Sean Peterson, who struggled early and never quite recovered.
“They are a very good ball club. They throw the ball hard and they hit the ball hard against us,” Williams said. “We just struggled. We didn't play that well defensively and we couldn't find a way to get any hits when we needed them.”
Game two was a much different story for Havre. Up until the bottom of the sixth inning, the Northstars were in complete control.
With the game tied at 1-1, Havre racked up four runs in the fourth inning and one in the fifth to give them a 6-3 lead entering the bottom of the sixth inning.
Late-game errors often determine the outcome of ball games. The Northstars made three critical mistakes that led to a six-run inning for the Stallions and a 9-6 win.
The winning pitcher was Jason Oatman, the Stallions' ace, who stayed unbeaten on the season at 5-0 with the win. Anthony Wirtzberger had a nice day at the plate to lead the way for the Northstars, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Jeremiah Moog also had a solid game, batting 3-for-3 and adding an RBI.
Also on Saturday afternoon, the Havre Comets played host to the Medicine Hat Knights. The Comets ended up with slightly different results, though, as they came away with a split. They won game one 7-5 and fell in game two 7-4.
The Knights took control of the first game right from the get go, and the Comets fell behind 2-0 after three innings of play. Things got worse before they got better. The Knights added three more runs in the late innings of the game to give them a commanding 5-0 lead heading into the bottom half of the seventh inning.
“It wasn't really looking too good for us for awhile,” Comets head coach Steve Fanning said. “We made some mistakes early in the game and we really struggled at the plate. We just couldn't find a way to get anything going. But these guys continued to fight, and I am proud of them for that.”
After struggling through six innings of play, the Comets had absolutely nothing to show for their efforts except a five-run deficit and three outs to work with. Suddenly things began to click, though, and the Comets mounted a late-inning rally.
The inning started out in a positive way when Knights pitcher Riley Arnott hit two of the first three batters and walked another to load the bases. Then after a force out, Logan Reichelt singled to score two runs, making the score 5-2. Next, Ryan Callahan rapped a double that knocked in another run and that's when things began to unravel for the Knights. A balk and a wild pitch gave Scott Vigliotti the opportunity to tie the game with an RBI-single and set the stage for Nick Nault's game winning two-run single.
“Things just started clicking for us in the last inning and we finally started to get some breaks to go our way,” Fanning said. “We put ourselves in a tough position with some mental mistakes and things like that, but our guys just wouldn't give up. That's how this team has been all year. They just continue to fight no matter what the score is, and I am really proud of them for that.”
The second game started off well enough for the Comets, as they took an early 2-0 lead. Pitcher Seth Jensen was able to hold the Knights scoreless for four innings before surrendering three runs in the fifth, giving Medicine Hat a 3-2 lead. Things just went downhill from there. The Knights scored two runs each in the sixth and seventh innings to lock up a 7-4 win.
“A split isn't bad,” Fanning said. “We had our chances in both games, but we just didn't take advantage of our chances and we made a lot of errors. We definitely need to cut down on those kinds of mistakes if we are going to win more games. But as far as the season goes, I think we are off to a decent start.”
Next up for the Comets and the Northstars is a trip to the prestigious Tom Taleff Memorial Tournament in Great Falls. The tournament begins Thursday and runs through Sunday afternoon.
Northstars 10, Knights 0
Medicine Hat 000 000 - 0 1 3
Havre 402 301 - 10 13 1
WP - Chase Castloo
LP - David Culham
Medicine Hat - Dustin Thomps 1-3, Cullen Bradshaw 0-2, David Culha 0-2, Tyson Ford 0-2, Austin Fruson 0-2, Kyle Telke 0-1, Jordan Holt 0-1, Cory Tumbac 0-2, Jay Stark 0-2.
Havre - Sean Peterson 2-4, Austin Small 0-3, Anthony Wirtzberger 2-3, Bryan Heath 2-4, Jeremiah Moog 1-3, Tanner Donovan 1-2, Josh Morse 3-3, John Christian 3-3, Chase Castloo 1-3.
Northstars 7, Knights 3
Medicine Hat 000 030 0 - 3 13 4
Havre 020 230 x - 7 10 3
WP - John Christian
LP - Tyson Ford
Havre - Sean Peterson 0-4, Josh Lowe 0-4, Anthony Wirtzberger 3-4, Bryan Heath 0-2, Austin Small 1-4, Tanner Donovan 2-3, Jeremiah Moog 2-3, Jess McLain 1-3, Chase Castloo 1-2, Josh Morse 0-1.
Medicine Hat - Dustin Thomps 3-4, Cullen Bradshaw 2-4, Tyson Ford 0-4, Riley Arnott 2-2, Austin Fruson 1-4, Kyle Telke 3-4, Ken Stephani 1-4, Jordan Holt 1-4, Jay Stark 0-3.
Comets 7, Knights 5
Medicine Hat 011 002 1 - 5 9 3
Havre 000 000 7 - 7 7 5
WP - Andrew Lindquist
Medicine Hat - Dustin Thomps 2-4, Cory Tumbach 0-2, Tyson Ford 0-2, David Culham 1-4, Rile Arnott 1-3, Kyle Telke 2-3, Ken Stefani 0-3, Jay Stark 0-4.
Havre - Marshall Cartwright 0-4, Logan Reichelt 3-4, Ryan Callahan 1-4, Andrew Lindquist 1-4, Scott Vigliotti 1-3, Nick Nault 0-1, Jeremy Jensen 0-2, Kyle Surber 1-3.
Knights 7, Comets 4
Medicine Hat 000 032 2 - 7 12 3
Havre 200 011 0 - 4 7 1
WP - Jordan Holt
Medicine Hat - Dustin Thomps 2-5, Jordan Holt 1-4, David Culham 1-4, Riley Arnott 1-3, Kyle Telke 1-4, Ken Stefani 0-3, Austin Frusonn 1-3, Coty Tumbach 0-1, Cullen Bradshaw 2-2.
Havre - Logan Reichelt 1-4, Marshall Cartwright 1-4, Ryan Callahan 2-4, Andrew Lindquist 0-3, Scott Vigliotti 1-4, Nick Nault 1-2, Seth Jensen 0-1, Josh Haas 0-1, Kyle Surber 1-2.
at Great Falls
Stallions AA 9, Northstars 3
Havre 110 000 1 - 3 5 3
Great Falls 340 002 x - 9 12 2
WP - Jeremy Bates
LP - Sean Peterson
Havre - Sean Peterson 0-3, Josh Lowe 0-4, Anthony Wirtzberger 1-4, Bryan Heath 1-4 (RBI), Austin Small 0-3, Tanner Donovan 0-2, Josh Morse 1-3, Jeremiah Moog 0-2, Jess McLain 2-2 (2 RBI).
Great Falls - Tyson Murray 1-4, Matt Schoonover 1-3 (RBI), Bryce Thompson 2-4 (3 RBI), Matt Kaklecik 2-4 (RBI), Josh French 1-1, Tanner Bleskin 1-1 (RBI), Dan Olinger 0-2 (RBI), Jeremy Bates 1-3, Zach Griffith, 2-3 (RBI).
Stallions AA 9, Northstars 6
Havre 100 410 0 - 6 8 4
Great Falls 100 116 x - 9 12 2
WP - Jason Oatman
LP - Austin Small
Havre - Sean Peterson 0-3, Josh Lowe 2-3, Anthony Wirtzberger 2-4 (RBI), Bryan Heath 1-4 (RBI), Tanner Donovan 0-2, Josh Morse 0-3, Jeremiah Moog 3-3 (RBI), Jess McLain 0-2, Scott Ladenburg 0-3.
Great Falls - Tyson Murray 1-4, Matt Schoonover 0-3, Bryce Thompson 2-4 (RBI), Jake Thares 1-3 (RBI), Jason Oatman 3-4 (RBI), Kyle Debolt 0-2, Tanner Bleskin 0-0, Carter Lewis 2-3 (RBI), Caleb Kovatch 0-1, Zach griffith 2-4.