George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor firstname.lastname@example.org
After a disappointing start to their own tournament, the Havre Northstars did just enough to make the 2007 Havre American Legion Baseball Jamboree another successful one. Things didn’t start out as planned for the Northstars after they dropped their highly-anticipated matchup with the Gallatin Valley Outlaws 7-1 on Friday night. But from that point on, the Northstars battled to three straight wins and a 3-1 overall record in what was their third straight weekend of tournament play. “Our pitching was solid,” Northstars head coach Steve Fanning said. “Anthony Wirtzberger, Andrew Lindquist and Scott Ladenburg all stepped up and pitched really well. “I also thought defensively, it wasn’t a bad weekend either,” he added. “But running the bases and swinging the bats, we didn’t quite step up like we have been.” The Northstar’s second and third games of the weekend were probably their best. On Saturday afternoon, Havre put away the Helena Reps 7-4 and in Saturday’s nitecap, they took care of the Bitteroot Red Sox, 5-1. Against Helena, the Northstars got an outstanding start from Scott Ladenburg, who held the Reps scoreless through five innings. Although Helena got to Ladenburg late, he finished the complete-game win allowing just five hits and striking out two batters. Offensively, Havre chipped away at Helena starter Grady Stinchfield, scoring twice in the first inning, once in the third and the fourth, twice in the fifth and once in the sixth. In all, Havre pounded out 14 hits against the Reps and Ryan Callahan delivered a 3-for-4 night with one RBI. Jeremiah Moog also picked up three hits and Tanner Donovan and Anthony Wirtzberger added two hits a piece in the win. Then, against the Red Sox, pitching was again key for the Northstars as Wirtzberger went the distance in a complete-game 5-1 victory. Wirtzberger allowed just one run on eight hits while striking out four in a win that included working his way out of a pair of basesloaded jams. Havre did its damage at the plate in the third inning when the Northstars exploded for four runs, starting with a single by Vigliotti, who seemed to spark Havre rallies all weekend long. Logan Reichelt later drove in Vigliotti and Callahan then singled to score Sean Peterson. Then, Bryan Heath delivered the knockout blow by doubling off the wall in right-center, which plated Reichelt and Callahan. Reichelt had the only multi-hit night against the Red Sox, but Callahan, Heath and Vigliotti were also crucial in the victory. On Sunday, the Northstars finished the tournament with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Glasgow. The Northstars fell behind 1-0 in the first inning, but quickly came back to tie the game in the third inning when Reichelt drove in Peterson on a single to right field. The Northstars then tacked on a run in the fourth inning when John Christian came across to score what would be the game-winning run. The game was interrupted by a scary moment when Glasgow catcher Joey Bergtoll crashed head first into the backstop while catching a foul ball. Bergtoll cut his head and was shaken up, but appeared to be ok as he was taken to Northern Montana Hospital to be treated. When the game resumed, Havre starter Andrew Lindquist had to work out of several late-inning jams on his way to a complete-game win. Lindquist was brilliant on the mound when his team needed him to be, striking out five and allowing just seven hits. Even though the Northstars picked up three important wins this weekend, things didn’t start out too well in their own tournament. On Friday night against Gallatin Valley, Havre starter Austin Small struggled to contain the Outlaws’ bats as they touched up Small for five runs in the second inning. And that five runs would be all that Gallatin Valley starter Keith Frost would need as he allowed just three hits en route to the completegame win. The loss was the third for the Northstars against Gallatin Valley this season, and only Callahan, who was extremely hot at the plate this weekend, Moog and Wirtzberger collected hits for Havre. “They are a good team,” Fanning said. “But I think we are too. We just have to show up and be ready to play seven innings of baseball against them.” Havre is now 25-10 on the season, and the Northstars will host the Great Falls Stallion on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Legion Field.