Northstars split, Lewistown sweeps Comets
Chris Peterson Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
After winning the first game of their doubleheader against the Tri-County Cardinals at Legion Park on Tuesday night the Havre Northstars American Legion baseball team was in the midst of putting a late rally together to try and get ta much-needed sweep. And when Jeremiah Moog hit a tworun home run, it appeared the Northstars may just come away with a victory. Then, with the tying run on first base, Josh Lowe was picked off on second base and just like that it was over. The Northstars missed a golden opportunity for a big conference win as they fell to the Cardinals 8-6, after beating Tri- County 13-3 in the opening game. “I thought that we had a chance and we did have a chance to come back and win that game,” Northstars head coach Mickey Williams said. “But, we just didn’t execute very well tonight in situational baseball. We had some big errors that cost us and we just made too many mistakes to overcome.” The first game was the exact opposite of game two, as everything went as planned for the Northstars on their way to an easy win in six innings. Sean Peterson had a solid outing in which he gave up three runs, two of them earned on seven hits, while striking out five and walking just two. The score was tied at 1-1 entering the bottom of the third inning when the Northstars offense finally busted out of their slump. Moog and Chase Castloo started the inning of with a pair of singles. Then, Bryan Heath drew a walk and loaded the bases for Anthony Wirtzberger. Wirtzberger walked to score Moog, then Castloo scored on a passed ball and the Northstars led 3-1. One batter later, Jess McLain knocked in Heath with a sacrifice fly making it a 4-1. Josh Morse continued the offensive onslaught with an RBI single scoring Wirtzberger. Morse would score off of an RBI single by John Christian giving the Northstars command of the game with a 6-1 lead. “We came out and hit the ball very hard,” Williams said. “They helped us out a bit with a few errors, but our guys did a good job of taking advantage of their mistakes.”
The Northstars offense continued to shine by scoring two runs in the fourth inning, four runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to give them the 13-3 win. McLain led the Northstars’ offense by batting 1-for-2 with three RBIs and a run scored. Adam Oien was charged with the loss for the Cardinals after lasting just four innings. In those four innings, Oien surrendered eight runs but just one of them earned off of three hits. He also walked five batters. In the second game, the Northstars took an early lead when Austin Small scored on an RBI groundout by Castloo. Wirtzberger, who was working on just three days rest, held the Cardinals scoreless in the first two innings. But in the third inning the wheels started to come off for Wirtzberger and the Northstars. Zach Styren singled to lead off the inning. And then after Colby Johnson reached base, the Cardinals had two runners on and no outs. Burns Brown singled to score a run and Robin Christiaensen singled to score two more runs giving the Cardinals a 3-1 lead. The Cardinals really blew the game wide open in the fourth inning when they managed to score three more runs giving them a commanding 6-1 lead. “We made a lot of mistakes that caused us to give up some runs that we shouldn’t have,” Williams said. “If a few plays would have went our way things might have been different, but that’s baseball.” The Northstars began to rally in the in the fifth when Castloo ripped a tworun single up the middle scoring Scott Ladenburg and Peterson, cutting the lead 6-3. The score would remain that way until the top of the seventh inning when the Cardinals got a pair of valuable insurance runs as Brown and Christiaens en scored on a single and an error to give the Cardinals an 8-3 lead entering the last half of the inning. Needing to make up some serious ground, and only having three outs left to work with, the Northstars got a big shot in the arm when Moog belted a tworun homer to right center field, cutting the lead to 8-5. Later in the inning Heath tripled and scored off a Josh Lowe single, trimming the lead to 8-6.
Christian was then hit by a pitch and suddenly the Northstars had the tying run at first base. McLain had the first chance to knock the run in but failed, as he popped out. That left the game up to Ladenburg. However, he never even got the chance as Lowe was picked off at second to end the game. “I really thought we had enough to come back,” Williams said. “But, we just couldn’t make the big plays when we needed to tonight and that was the difference. Give them a lot of credit, they played hard and they bill the ball very well tonight. It’s disappointing because we really wanted to get a sweep especially on our home field. This loss shouldn’t make that big a difference in the standings, but it could come back to hurt us.” Brent Bandow earned the win for Tri-County after tossing six innings. He allowed six runs off of 12 hits. Wirtzberger was stuck with the loss for the Northstars. Wirtzberger pitched the full seven innings, giving up eight runs, five of them earned, to go along with two strikeouts. Moog lead the way for the Northstars’ offense going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and the home run. Castloo also had a solid game batting 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Tuesday also saw the Havre Comets take to the road. The Comets visited Lewistown and were promptly swept by the league-leading Lewistown Redbirds by scores of 12-6 and 10-1. The Redbirds, who improved to 16-0 in district play, belted out 20 hits over the course of the two games, including a homer by Max Pearson. The Comets got multiple hits from Ryan Callahan, Nick Nault and Josh Haas. The Northstars homestand continues tonight when they host the Redbirds in a pivotal conference doubleheader, starting at 6 at Legion park.