Havre 15-year old all-star team wins district championship; second Havre squad comes up short of state tourney berth
Chris Peterson Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Mission accomplished Adam Briese fielded a groundball and tossed it to Cam Schilling for the final out in the Havre I 6-4 victory over Golden Triangle in the District IV Babe Ruth Baseball Tournament on Saturday at Legion Stadium, finishing off the teams’ unbeaten run through the tournament and cementing its spot in the Babe Ruth State Tournament this week in Helena. “It feels great to win it,” Havre I head coach Bruce Normandy said. “You never know how these games are going to turn out and I am just really proud of the way the kids played all weekend long. They really played their hearts out and they deserved to win it.” Havre I got off to a fast start against Golden Triangle on Saturday by jumping out to a quick 3-0 in the top of the first inning. Kyle Miller drew a leadoff walk to start off the inning, followed by Beau Briese reaching on an error and Shane Kemmer ripping a two-run single that scored Miller and Briese. Kemmer scored later in the inning on a single by Cam Schilling. Havre I added another run in the third inning and two more in the fourth to take a commanding 6-0 lead for starting pitcher Paul Jensen to work with. Jensen retired 12 of the first 14 batters he faced. In the fifth inning, Golden Triangle was able to generate some offense. Chase Ballantyne and Derek Lear were on first and third, when Spencer Lewis tripled, scoring both runners to make the score 6-2. Golden Triangle added two more runs in the sixth, shrinking Havre’s lead to 6-4. But in the seventh inning, Jensen got three straight ground ball outs to seal the game, giving him the complete- game victory. Jensen threw seven strong innings, allowing just four runs on five hits while striking out six. Kemmer led the Havre I offense, going 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs and two runs scored.
“I just can’t say enough about the way these guys played,” Normandy said. “They are a good group of kids that love to baseball and you can see that in the they play the game. I have been coaching them for a few years now, and when they play their best, they are a very tough team to beat.” The other Havre team, coached by Lunar Evans, battled back after losing twice by double digits in pool play to make it all the way to the third-place game with a chance to qualify for the state tournament. Havre II defeated Livingston in the first round of single elimination, 14-8 before losing in the semifinals to Havre I 3-0. In that semifinal game, Miller was cruise control, and it wouldn’t take much offense for Havre I to get the win. Havre I got all the offense it needed when Cam Schilling singled in Adam Briese in the fourth inning to make it 1-0. In the fifth, Kemmer would reach home after a double by Jensen, who later scored on an error to give Havre I a 3-0 lead, which was more than enough run support for Miller. Schilling helped lead the way for the Havre II offense with a hit and an RBI. Jensen also did his part at the plate with a double and an RBI. That loss put Havre II into the third-place game, where it would go head to head with Belgrade for the final berth in the state tourney. Havre II jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning by way of an RBI-single by Dylan Patterson. Belgrade quickly answered with three runs in the second inning and seven runs in the third to take a commanding 10-2 lead. Havre II refused to die, and in the bottom of the third inning, Havre answered with four runs to get back within four runs at 10-6.
The comeback continued in the fifth inning when CJ Evans singled to score Michael Hickman, and Patterson knocked in Evans with his second RBIsingle of the day. Patterson scored later in the inning and the lead was down to one, 10-9. In the fifth inning, DeVries put Havre II back on top with a two-run single that scored Hickman and Roman Surber, making the score 11-10. The score stayed that way until the seventh inning. But Hickman, who tried to close out Belgrade just didn’t have enough left in his arm to finish it off. Bryce Pracht reached on a leadoff walk and scored off an RBI-double by Justin Halverson. Halverson then scored on a groundout and to put Belgrade ahead 12-11. Havre II tried to rally in the bottom half of the inning, but with Patterson representing the tying run just 90 feet away at third base with two outs, DeVries grounded out to end the game. Patterson had an outstanding game at the plate to lead Havre II, going 3- for-4 with two RBIs. Hickman also had a solid game, reaching base three times, notching three stolen bases and scoring three runs in the loss. “We were one hit or one passed ball away from tying it up,” Havre II head coach Lunar Evans said. “But, these kids have nothing to be ashamed about. They played great all weekend long. They gave it their best shot and that is all you can do. They should be proud of the way they played and they should hold their heads high.” Havre I clinched a bye into the semi-finals with their 19-3 win over Havre II in pool play Friday afternoon. Jack Teske earned the win by giving up just three runs on six hits in five innings pitched. Jensen led the way at the dish with three hits and an RBI in the win.
In other pool play Friday, Golden Triangle smoked Belgrade by the score of 14-4 and Gallatin Valley trounced Lewistown 22-3. Havre I now heads to the Babe Ruth State Tournament in Helena. The tournament begins Wednesday and will feature 10 teams from four districts. Havre I will play four games in its pool with the start times being Wednesday at 9 a.m., Thursday at 3 p.m., and Friday at 9 a.m. and 3 p. m.