Havre Daily News
For the first time in their young season, the Havre Comets American Legion baseball team will take part in tournament play, as they head to Great Falls for the Tom Taleff Baseball Tournament.
The tournament will take place from today through Sunday with all games being played at Don Olson Field. Six teams will compete, including the Comets. The other teams in the field will be the Great Falls Sparkies, the Great Falls Stallions (A), Lewistown, Edmonton and Anaconda. The format will be round-robin, in which each team will play four games and the teams with two best records will play for the Championship Monday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. The third- and fourth-place teams will play Monday for third place at 10:15 a.m.
The Comets will open up the tournament this afternoon at 4 against the Great Falls Stallions. The Stallions play in the same conference as the Comets, so there will be plenty of familiarity when the two teams face off.
“I think that the kids are pretty excited about playing in their first tournament of the season,” Comet head coach Steve Fanning said. “But, half of the teams in the tournament play in our conference so it's not like we are going to be facing a lot of new teams or anything like that. So, that is the one thing about the tournament I don't particularly like, but it's always good to get some more games and it's good to give the kids a chance to play a lot of games in a short period of time. So I am looking forward to seeing how they will perform under those conditions.”
The Northstars were originally scheduled to play in the tournament as well, but were forced to pull out due to some scheduling conflicts. So the Comets will get the benefit of Northstar regulars Tanner Donovan, Brian Heath, Anthony Wirtzberger and Jeremiah Moog to add to their own roster.
“It will help us out a little bit, to have a few of their (Northstars) guys,” Fanning said. “But, I am not going to give any of them time over
any of my players. Mostly, they will help us out with our pitching, because it's our first tournament and we are going to be playing a lot of innings. It also helps because it gives us a few more options as far as things we can do with our hitters.”
Today, the Comets will send Logan Reichelt to the mound in their first game against the Stallions. Reichelt is one of the team's top starting pitchers, but if he wants to win this start he will have to pitch better than he did in his last start against the Sparkies where he was knocked around a bit en route to a 13-
3 Comets loss.
Seth Jensen will be the starting pitcher on Saturday as the Comets take on the Great Falls Sparkies at 12:30 p.m.
Jensen dominated the Sparkies in his previous start, throwing a complete game four-hitter, while allowing just two runs and earning the win.
“Logan is going to get the start on Friday and on Saturday Seth will start,” Fanning said. “After that we are just going to play it by ear to see how everything is going and how the guys are feeling. We have a number of different options that we could go to, so it will just depend upon the situation that we are in by Sunday.”
Other possible starting pitchers for the Comets could be Andrew
Linquist, Jeremy Jensen as long as Moog, Donovan and Wirtzberger. All three Northstar pitchers also could be used in
relief along with Comets relief pitcher Kyle Surber, who has been very effective on the mound so far this season.
“I have been really pleased with how Kyle has pitched,” Fanning said. “He has come in during some tight situations and he has done a good job. We are not really a team that uses a closer type of pitcher, but a lot of times our starters can't pitch the entire game and when they can't or when they get in trouble we turn to Kyle for relief.”
In terms of their lineup the team will depend on Marshall Cartwright, Scott Vigliotti and Ryan
Callahan at the top of the order to get on base and generate offense. The team will also look for offensive output from Linquist, Reichelt and
Heath to provide their pitchers with the run support they need to win games.
On Sunday, the Comets will finish off their round robin portion of the tournament against Lewistown and Edmonton with those games starting at 10:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. respectively.
“I think that we have played pretty well so far this season and hopefully we can continue that this weekend and beyond,” Fanning said. “It will be a good challenge for us to see how we do in tournament play and it will give us a chance to compete against some good competition.”