Comets in action this weekend in Whitefish
Chris Peterson Havre Daily News email@example.com
Ready for some old-school baseball? The Havre Northstars better be this weekend as they travel to Hamilton for the Vester Wilson Wood Bat tournament. The round robin tournament differs from any other American Legion baseball tournament around because teams are required to use wood bats instead of aluminum bats. Although switching from aluminum to wood might not seem like a big deal, in reality the difference between the two is night and day. Aluminum bats make the ball to jump off the bat much quicker than wooden ones, taking the ball farther faster meaning that for one weekend in Hamilton, baseball will be less about the long ball and more about small ball. “The wooden bats make this tournament a little different than any other tournament we play in,” Northstar head coach Mickey Williams said. “It is a different kind of atmosphere. But, we will be playing in a small ballpark so it is a good place to use wooden bats. We are just going to have to make a few adjustments.” The Northstars will open up the tournament tonight at 7 against the Bitterroot Red Sox, a team they defeated just last weekend by the score of 5-2. Who will take the mound for the Northstars is still undetermined, but it probably won’t be Chase Castloo or Sean Peterson because both pitched just a few days ago and need to rest their arms for an upcoming conference clash with Lewistown on Tuesday. That will leave the pitching duties this weekend to Austin Small, Anthony Wirtzberger, Scott Ladenburg, Tanner Donovan and John Christian. “We may not pitch either Sean or Chase,” Williams said. “They both pitched on short rest in their last game and we can’t pitch them on short rest again. Our other pitchers also haven’t been getting the amount of innings I want them to because of some of the rain so this will give Tanner Donovan, Scott Ladenburg and some of those other guys (a chance) to work some more innings.” The Northstars come into the tournament off of a bad performance against conference rival Lewistown as they were outscored 14-1 in two games while racking up a dismal 24 strikeouts not really impressive offensive numbers. And those were with aluminum bats. “Hopefully we won’t strike out 24 times this weekend,” Williams said. “Don’t get me wrong, we faced two very good pitchers and that was part of it, but we also need to swing the bat better than we have been. We need to play with a little more consistency.” Chase Castloo, who is hitting .431 on the season with nine extra-base hits and 16 RBIs, leads the Northstar offense along with leadoff hitter Sean Peterson. Peterson gives the Northstars a dangerous dual threat on offense with his abilities at the plate and on the base paths. He is currently batting .349 in the leadoff spot, while amassing team leads in both runs and steals, with 28 and 12 respectively. After facing off against the Red Sox on Friday, the Northstars will meet up with the Bitteroot Bucs, a very talented team that Havre has yet to play because of poor weather. That game will take place at 4 p.m. “We were supposed to play them at our tournament but the game was rained out,” Williams said. “But I did get to see them play and they didn’t look quite as strong as they have been in the past. But you never know with the Bitterroot Bucs because they seem to be good every year so we will see what happens.”
To close things out on Sunday, the Northstars will go head-to-head at 10a. m. with reigning state champion Gallatin Valley for the third time this season. So far the two teams have split the season series with each team winning a game at home. “The biggest thing for us is just to be more consistent,” Williams said. “We have not played really well in the last couple of games, so we need to continue to compete and get better to get things where we want to get them with Lewistown coming up on Tuesday.” The Havre Comets also are in action this weekend at the Whitefish Tournament. The Comets have struggled at times so far this season but they may have finally turned a corner with their victory over the Great Falls Sparkies last Sunday to break a lengthy losing skid. The tournament started Thursday and will run through Saturday in Whitefish.