Havre Daily News sports editor
Legion Park in Havre is one of the
nicest baseball stadiums in all of
Montana. That is due in large part to
the hard work and dedication of many
Havre natives who have supported
American Legion baseball for so long.
Tonight, and for the rest of the
week, Legion Park will also be a
showcase for some of the best
American Legion baseball teams in
Class A as the Havre Northstars and
Havre Comets host the 2006 Havre
The four-day tournament will begin
tonight at 6 when the Comets take on
the Columbus Beartooth Bighorns.
That game will be followed by the
Northstars squaring off against the
Gallatin Valley Outlaws.
Tonight’s game between the
Outlaws and Northstars will be one of
the featured games of the tournament.
Gallatin Valley is the defending Class
A state champion, and the Outlaws
are a perennial Legion powerhouse.
The Outlaws boast a solid pitching
staff, but their offense year in and
year out is what has boosted them to
the top of the Class A baseball mountain.
The Northstars come into tonight’s
game, and the tournament winners of
five straight games. That streak dates
back to a sweep of the Medicine Hat
Knights on May 21. During that
stretch, the Northstars have also hammered
the Havre Comets, and on
Monday night, they demolished the
Great Falls Sparkies twice.
The Northstars have been getting a
great combination of reliable pitching
and steady offensive production during
the win streak. On Monday,
starters Tanner Donovan and John
Christian both threw complete games
against the Sparkies. And as a team,
havre pounded out 21 hits and scored
27 runs in the doubleheader. During
their winning streak, the Northstars
have scored in double digits in four
out of the five games.
And it is difficult to go down the
Northstars’ batting order and find a
hitter who isn’t hot. Anthony
Wirtzberger, Austin Small, Chase
Castloo and Bryan Heath have all
been hitting the cover off of the ball
lately and Havre is getting run production
from almost its entire lineup.
During the four-day tournament,
the Northstars will also face Glacier
Twins on Friday night at 6 p.m., the
Bitterroot Bucs on Saturday at 4:45
p.m. and the Kalispell Lakers at 1:30
p.m. on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Havre Comets
enter tonight’s tournament reeling
after going 0-4 at home over the weekend.
The Comets lost twice to the Tri-
County Cardinals on Saturday and
twice to the Great Falls Stallions on
Hitting has been one of the biggest
problems for the Comets, but mental
mistakes are also killing them,
according to head coach Steve
Fanning, who said that his team needs
to cut down on those errors as they
prepare to play the Columbus
Beartooth Bighorns tonight.
“We have to stop making mental
mistakes,” Fanning said. “That is
what has been hurting us the most. If
we can cut down on those mental
errors then maybe we can get some
momentum back and start playing
good baseball again.”
The Comets have been getting good
pitching from the likes of Andrew
Lindquist, as well as Seth and Jeremy
Jensen. However, the offense has not
backed up the pitchers and for that
matter, neither has the defense. That
will have to change tonight if the
Comets want to compete with
“I think that Gallatin Valley and
Columbus are two of the best teams
coming to this tournament,” Fanning
said. “They are both pretty good. But
there are a lot of competitive teams in
this tournament and that will make it
a good learning experience for us.
Because we’re a young team, it will be
interesting to see how we do.”
On Friday night, the Comets will
face Gallatin Valley at 8 p.m. The
Comets will also see the Kalispell lakers
at 7 p.m. on Saturday, and the
Glacier Twins at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday.
In all, the Jamboree will have 16
games over four days with Gallatin
Valley, Columbus, Vauxhall, Kalispell,
Glacier and Bitterroot joining the
Comets and Northstars. There will be
two games tonight, six games on
Friday, five games on Saturday and
three on Sunday.
Once again, the 2006 Havre
Jamboree will get under way tonight
at 6 with the Havre Comets taking on
the Columbus Beartooth Bighorns.
The Northstars and Gallatin Valley
Outlaws game is slated to begin at
8:15, and all the action will take place
at Legion Park in Havre.