George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor email@example.com
The Havre Northstars were one of three teams most considered to be heavy favorites to win the American Legion Northern A District Championship this week in Great Falls. But on Saturday night at Centene Stadium, the Northstars’ road to not just a district title, but a berth in the Class A state tournament, got a lot tougher. The Great Falls Stallions upset the Northstars 7-6, in a 10-inning thriller. Great Falls’ Jake Bleskin drove in the eventual game-winning run in the top of the 10th inning, capping off an amazing performance by the Stallions and starter Dustin Schultz. Schultz went all 10 innings for the Stallions, giving up 12 hits, and also going 3-for-4 at the plate. The game was back-and-forth throughout. Havre broke it open in the bottom of the third inning when the Northstars scored three times to take a 4-1 lead. But the Stallions rallied, scoring twice in the fourth, twice and the sixth and once in the seventh to lead 6-4. The game remained that way until the Northstars charged back in the bottom of the ninth inning. Jeremiah Moog and Bryan Heath each doubled, and when Moog crossed the plate, the game was tied at 6-6 and headed for the extra frame before Great Falls pulled it out. Heat went 4-for-6 to pace the Northstars in the loss and Logan Reichelt was also 3-for-6. Moog, Heath, Reichelt, Ryan Callahan and Anthony Wirtzberger all drove in runs for the Northstars and despite pitching extremely well, Seth Jensen suffered the loss. The loss to Great Falls put the Northstars into the elimination bracket and a long way form the state tournament. But Havre responded on Sunday afternoon with a 9-1 victory over the Tri-County Cardinals. The Northstars got a complete-game effort from starter Scott Ladenburg, who struck out 13, walked just two and allowed an amazing two hits in the nine-inning affair. At the plate, the Northstars belted out 15 hits and got a 2-for-4 effort and four RBIs from Moog. Heath went 2- for-4 as well, and Callahan had a big day, going 3-for-4 with two singles, a double and an RBI. Reichelt also went 3-for-4 and Wirtzberger and Scott Vigliotti collected hits as well. Sunday’s victory over the Cardinals put Havre three wins away from the championship game. The Northstars will have to win twice today in order to stay alive, starting this morning when they face the Lewistown Redbirds. If the Northstars are successful this morning, they will play again tonight at 7:30 p.m.