Chris Peterson Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
This weekend, it was the Havre American Legion baseball teams going head-to-head against the Lethbridge Miners in back-to-back doubleheaders. And when it was all said and done, Havre managed to win just one of the four games. The Miners opened their weekend in Havre on Saturday night with a doubleheader against the Havre Northstars at Legion Field. The Miners took the opening game by the score of 4-3, but the Northstars returned the favor with a 4-3 win of their own to salvage a split with the firstplace team from the Southern Division of the Northern A District. The Miners jumped out to an early 3- 0 lead in game one as Pat Maclean hammered a single to left field to score Cole Lencucha, which capped off a two-run second inning. Sheldon Haughian pushed the Miner’s lead to three runs in the top of the third when he singled to score Tanner Granberg. Lethbridge starting pitcher Jamin Heller maintained the lead for the Miners, holding the Northstars scoreless for five innings until Scott Ladenburg scored on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Callahan in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead to 3-1. Then Bryan Heath pulled the Northstars within one run when he singled to score Sean Peterson. After Lethbridge added an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning, the Northstars made one final rally attempt in the bottom of the seventh. Austin Small started off the inning with a leadoff double and was later knocked in off a double by Ladenburg, trimming the deficit to 4-3. However, Heller got both Peterson and John Christian to fly out, leaving Ladenburg stranded to finish the game. Heller got the win after a stellar performance on the mound for the Miners in which he allowed just three runs on six hits while striking out five. Seth Jensen got the loss for Havre, but was solid in seven strong innings of work. Maclean led the Miners with two hits and two RBIs in the win, while Ladenburg notched two hits in defeat for the Northstars. In game two, it was the Northstars that jumped ahead early and held on late for the victory. After picking up a run in the second inning on an error, the Northstars added two more in the bottom of the sixth following back-to-back RBI-singles by Heath and Callahan to take a 3-0 lead. Trailing 3-1 in the top of the fifth, the Miners were threatening with the bases loaded, but a 4-6-3 double play ended the threat and maintained the Northstar lead. With the score 4-2 entering the top of the seventh inning, the Miners had one final chance to tie the game. Lencucha scored on a fielder’s choice that cut the lead to 4-3 and put the tying run on first base with two outs. But Northstar starting pitcher Anthony Wirtzberger got Haughian to ground out to the shortstop to end the threat and the game. “Being that it was our last chance to play at home, I wish we could have got both games,” Northstars head coach Steve Fanning said. “But we didn’t do that. Our pitching was there, but out hitting just wasn’t.” Wirtzberger earned the completegame victory after giving up just three runs on seven hits with two strikeouts in seven strong innings. Callahan and Logan Reichelt had two hits apiece in the win for the Northstars. On Sunday at Legion Field, the Miners turned their attention to the Havre Comets. In game one, the Comets grabbed an early lead behind the potent bat of Shane Kemmer, who singled in a run in the first and doubled in a run in the third to give Havre a 2-0 lead. But a three-run triple by Lencucha in the top of the fourth inning off Paul Jensen gave the Miners a 3-2 lead that they would never relinquish. The Miners added two more runs in the fifth inning when Tyson Hudson doubled to score Mitch Maxwell and Granberg. The Miners added a run apiece in the sixth and the seventh to seal the 7-2 victory. The Comets did their best to hang around in game two, but got off to an inauspicious start when Hudson belted a rare inside-the-park home run to give Lethbridge a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Down 3-0 in the bottom of the second, the Comets fought back. Kyle Miller ripped a two-run single that brought home Nick Nault and Beau Briese. Josh Haas scored on an error soon after and suddenly the score was tied at 3-3. It remained that way until the top of the sixth when Maclean led off the inning with a triple and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Kim Barthel. The Miners tacked on six more runs in the top of the seventh to put the game out of reach. In addition to the home run, Hudson also got the win for the Miners, while Kemmer was stuck with the loss for the Comets. “Losing to them by five runs was not exactly what I had in mind,” Comets head coach Danny Wirtzberger said. “We did do some positive things. We played very good defense, but now we need to win all three of our games on Tuesday just to have a chance to make it to the district tournament.” The Comets will play three games against the Great Falls Stallions Tuesday at Legion Field, with one of the games being a make-up game. The action will get under way at 3 pm. The Northstars will be in Glasgow on Tuesday for a doubleheader that will also begin at 3 p.m.