Chris Peterson Havre Daily News email@example.com
The Havre Northstars and the Havre Comets American Legion baseball teams took the field on a chilly, windy afternoon at Legion Field to kick off the start of a brand new baseball season in Havre Sunday afternoon. The two teams squared off in a doubleheader that will not count in the Northern District standings. The veteran Northstars showed the youthful Comets a thing or two over the course of the two games, sweeping the doubleheader by scores of 9-4 and 12-2. The Comets grabbed an early 2-1 lead in the first game after Brett Normandy doubled to lead off the inning and later scored on an error. Shane Kemmer also scored on an error later on in the inning to make it 2-1 after the top of the third. The lead lasted until the bottom of the fourth inning, when the Northstars offense finally awoke. Tanner Donovan, Bryan Heath, Andrew Lindquist and Logan Reichelt began the inning with four consecutive base hits. Donovan then scored on the single by Lindquist, while Heath and Lindquist scored on ground-out RBIs by Scott Vigliotti and Josh Haas. Reichelt was later walked by Normandy, who had entered the game in relief of starting pitcher Kyle Miller, putting the Northstars ahead 5-2. Each team managed to score two runs in the fifth inning, making the score 7-4 Northstars. The Northstars put the game away in the bottom of the sixth inning, when Reichelt belted a two-run double that plated Donovan and Heath. Lindquist earned the win in relief of Donovan, after giving up just two runs on two hits in four innings. He struck out five and walked just one. “I was very pleased with my pitchers. They were given a fifty pitch limit and they didn’t exceed that number by much at all,” new Northstars head coach Steve Fanning said. “Andrew Lindquist had a fantastic day on the mound, and I’m looking forward to his season if he continues to throw like that.” Miller was charged with the loss for the Comets after allowing five runs on five hits in three innings of work. He also struck out three and walked one. Reichelt led the way for the Northstars at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Vigliotti also had a nice game going just 1-for-4 but knocking in two runs. Aaron Olsen had the most success for the Comets, notching two of the teams’ six hits in the loss. In game two, the Comets again jumped out to an early 2-0 lead following RBI singles by Jack Teske and Beau Briese in the top of the first inning. The Northstars quickly answered in the bottom half of the inning, however, when Heath singled in a run and Lindquist tripled in a run to tie the game at 2-2. In the bottom of the second inning, the Northstars took the lead on an RBI single by Sean Peterson, which later led to a two-run double by Donovan that gave them a 5-2 advantage. The Northstars added five more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to make the score 10-2. They finished off the game in the bottom of the fifth after an RBI groundout by John Christian and an RBI single by Donovan made the score 12-2, ending the game after five innings. “As far as offensively, you never expect a team to come out and score a lot of runs in early April. But we took advantage of some walks and errors as well as getting some big hits to score some runs. I do look for the amount of strikeouts to decrease as the season continues,” Fanning said. “Defensively I thought we would be a little stronger than what we showed, but there were some great plays that were turned in during some crucial times.” The win went to Northstars starting pitcher Sean Peterson, who gave up two runs on three hits, while notching four strike outs and walking two in thee innings. Teske was hit with the loss for the Comets after giving up five runs on seven hits. He also struck out four and walked one. Donovan was stellar at the plate in the second game for the Northstars, going 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Christian went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and Peterson was 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored in the win. Teske was one of just four Comets to manage a hit in the second game, going 1-for-3 with an RBI. Normandy, Beau Briese and Adam Briese also notched hits in the loss. “I was very pleased with the Comets performance this early in the season,” Fanning said. “If they keep their heads up and learn from these games they will be a pretty scrappy team come July.” The Northstars are back on the field for a pair of games on Sunday in Havre against the vaunted Great Falls Stallions AA team. Meanwhile, the Comets return to action Saturday, May 5, when they face Choteau in doubleheader action at Legion Field.