George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Back-to-back trips to Great Falls meant two different types of play for the Havre Northstars American legion baseball team this weekend. On Saturday, the Northstars thumped the Great Falls Sparkies twice, but on Sunday, Havre returned to the Electric City and found the going a bit more difficult as the Northstars lost twice to the Class AA Great Falls Stallions. In Friday’s first game against the Sparkies, the Northstars got a combined five-hitter from Andrew Lindquist and Tanner Donovan in a 15-1 rout. The Northstars smacked 11 hits and got stellar performances from John Christian and Ryan Callahan at the plate, both going 2-for-4. Meanwhile, Lindquist and Donovan were almost unhittable, allowing the Sparkies just five hits in the easy victory. The Northstars followed that win up with a 12-4 victory in the second game. The Havre bats continued to harass Sparkies pitchers, as the Northstars belted 13 more hits, while Sean Peterson and John Christian shut down the Great Falls’ offense. Christian was solid again at the plate, collecting three more hits in the second game, and Bryan Heath added a 4-for-5 performance as Havre cruised. As quickly as the Northstars found success in Great Falls, a day later, their fortunes changed against the powerful Stallions. Although Havre had beaten the Stallions twice already this season, Great Falls had a full roster for the first time this season and it showed as the Stallions pounded the Northstars by scores of 10-0 and 6-2. Pitching was the story for Great Falls on Sunday. In the first game, Stallions ace Tanner Bleskin allowed just one hit and the Great Falls hitters put up six firstinning runs against Northstars starter Seth Jensen on their way to an easy non-league victory. Pitching and more Great Falls hitting was again a factor in the nightcap as the Stallion’s Phil Parrish threw a two-hit gem and also belted a two-run home run in an easy 6-2 five-inning victory. Like Bleskin in the first game, Parrish went the distance for Great Falls in game two, and Northstars starter Anthony Wirtzberger had little help in holding the Stallions back. Christian and Logan Reichelt picked up the only two hits for Havre in the second game, and Wirtzberger went the distance on the mound in the loss. Sunday also saw the Havre Comets drop a pair of Northern District league games in Lewistown. The Redbirds shut out the Comets 8-0 in the first game, and they took the nightcap 4-2. Starting Friday, both the Northstars and Comets will be back in Great Falls for the prestigious Tom Taleff Memorial Tournament.