George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor email@example.com
For a brief moment during the second game of their doubleheader with the Tri- County Cardinals, it looked as though the Havre Northstars bats might finally quiet down. Not quite. On Monday at Legion Field in Havre, the Northstars followed up a 10-0 thrashing of Tri-County in game one of a Northern District American Legion doubleheader, by exploding for eight runs in the fourth inning of the second game en route to an 11-0 shutout and an easy sweep. “When we hit like we did today, and like we have for the last six games, we are a very good, quality ballclub,” Havre head coach Steve Fanning said. “Pitching has been there all season, and this last six games, we have hit the ball pretty well. That makes us pretty tough to beat.” In the second game, for a time, the Cardinals held Havre down, thanks in large part to the stellar pitching of hardthrowing Orin Johnson. But defense cost the Cardinals in the third inning, and Johnson had trouble escaping with two outs. The Northstars scored three times in the third as Austin Small drilled a twoout, bases-loaded, pinch-hit single, which put Havre on the board. But for the first time all day, it looked like Tri-County might fight back, as the Cardinals were able to get runners on second and the third in the top of the fourth. But with two outs, Havre starter Anthony Wirtzberger struck out Cody Pyette to end the inning and the threat. And that’s when Havre’s bats took over yet again. In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Northstars scored eight times, starting with a two-run double by John Christian, which made the score 5-0. With two outs Bryan Heath singled and Small walked to load the bases. This all came after Johnson was removed for Kellen Judisch, and Judisch would not make it out of the inning. Ryan Callahan and Heath scored on throwing mistakes to make the score 8-0 and Logan Reichelt crushed a double to score one more. Then, Colby Johnson came in and promptly threw a wild pitch that scored Jeremiah Moog, and then threw another one that allowed Reichelt to cross the plate for the final run. “Today our bats were really good again,” Fanning said. “We got big hits when we needed them, and most of our guys are being patient and hitting the ball really well, especially when we have scoring chances.” In the second game, Heath went 1-for- 2 with a pair of RBIs while Andrew Lindquist was 2-for-2 with two runs scored and Reichelt was 2-for-3 with two runs batted in. Small and Christian also drove in a combined four runs. Meanwhile, for the fourth time in six games, the Northstars got a completegame win from a starter as Wirtzberger was in total control on the mound, collecting his second win of the year. In five innings of shutout work, Wirtzberger struck out four and didn’t walk any Cardinals. In the first game on Monday, it took Havre a little while to settle in, but leading 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Northstars scored six runs to put the Cardinals away. On the mound, Havre got yet another great performance, this time from Small and Seth Jensen, who combined to throw a stellar one-hit shutout. Small went five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit to go with four walks and five strikeouts. Jensen came on late and kept the shutout in tact. At the plate, the Northstars got two hits each from Christian, Moog and Scott Ladenburg, while Sean Peterson drove in three runs on a triple and also had a stolen base. Ladenburg also drove in two runs. The sweep of Tri-County Monday ended a perfect 6-0 three-day stretch for the Northstars. During the last six games, Havre collected an astounding 68 hits and scored 10 or more runs five times. “Our pitching has been really tough all season,” Fanning said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with our pitching. The big thing is continuing to relax at the plate like we did this last six games. We’re going into some games against really good teams, and we have to continue to hit and play defense with the same confidence we have lately.” The Northstars are 13-5 on the season as they prepare to head to Florence for the Bitterroot Bucs Tournament. Havre will play the Dillon Cubs on Friday to start the three-day tourney. The Northstars return home on Thursday, June 13 for a game against the Billings Blue Jays.