Chris Peterson Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
The difference between the Havre Northstars and the Havre Comets American Legion baseball teams was like night and day they each took their best shot against the Billings Blue Jays. The Northstars played the Blue Jays first Wednesday night at Legion Field and earned a solid 6-2 nonconference victory. And the performance of Northstars starting pitcher Anthony Wirtzberger was a big reason why the they came out on top, as Wirtzberger pitched seven solid innings, allowing just two runs on five hits, while striking out seven to earn the complete-game victory. “Anthony pitched a great game for us tonight,” Northstars head coach Steve Fanning said. “He threw the ball really well and he had good command of all his pitches. “I thought that our defense could have been a little more aggressive and we could have hit the ball a little better, but we did what we had to do to win,” he added. “It wasn’t our best game, but it was good enough to win.” After building an early 2-0 lead, the Northstars gave Wirtzberger all the run support he could possibly need in the bottom of the fourth inning when Tanner Donovan, Logan Reichelt and Scott Vigliotti all came through with RBIs to push the Northstars lead to 5-0. The Blue Jays scored a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning to close the gap a little at 5-2. But in the bottom half of the inning, Sean Peterson scored on an RBI single by Bryan Heath to put the game out of reach. Reichelt had a stellar game at the plate in the win going 3-for-4 with an RBI, a run and a stolen base to his credit. Ryan Callahan added two hits and two runs in the win for the Northstars. In the second game of the night, the Havre Comets didn’t have the same luck against the Blue Jays, as Billings made sure it walked away from Havre with a split in the two-game set after thrashing the Comets by the score of 18-6 in the nitecap at Legion Field. The Blue Jays shredded Comets pitching for 18 runs on 19 hits. The Blue Jays were also able to take advantage of five costly Comets errors. Collin Johnson earned the victory for the Blue Jays after throwing five strong innings in which he allowed six runs on six hits, while striking out six batters. Aaron Olsen was hit with the loss for the Comets after surrendering 14 runs in a just over five innings of work. “I thought Aaron did a pretty decent job out there,” Comets head coach Danny Wirtzberger said. “But the defense behind him didn’t make any plays. I can understand the physical mistakes, but we are making way too many mental mistakes and that is something that we really need to take care of.” The Blue jays held a 6-3 lead entering the fourth-inning, but blew the game wide open with another five-run inning. After already getting two runs across to make the score 8-3, Jerry Schmang came to plate with the bases loaded and ripped a three-run triple, pushing the lead to 11-3 and essentially putting the game out of reach. The Blue Jays offensive onslaught continued in the fifth and sixth innings, when they added three runs and four runs, respectively. Shane Kemmer and Gavin Swietnicki were two of the bright spots for the Comets on offense, with each getting a hit and an RBI in the loss. The Comets will have a few days off, before they welcome Medicine Hat to Havre on Saturday for a critical conference doubleheader. The games will be at Legion Field and the first game will start at 1 p.m. The Northstars are back on the road this weekend as they travel to Bozeman for the prestigious Gallatin Valley tournament.