Chris Peterson Havre Daily News email@example.com
Just when it appeared that the Havre Northstars American Legion baseball team was going to get swept in a doubleheader on their home field by the Great Falls Stallions, Sean Peterson took the ball on the mound in game two and completely took over. Peterson had everything working for him, as he simply overwhelmed the Stallions, tossing a complete-game shutout in the Northstars 7-0 win Wednesday night at Legion Field. The victory salvaged a split with the Stallions who play in the Northern District’s South Division. The Stallions captured the first game of the doubleheader 6-4. It took Peterson just 76 pitches to strike out 12 Stallions, while walking none in seven spectacular innings on the hill. The Stallions mustered just four hits and had just seven players reach base, with none of them getting farther than second base in the entire game. “Sean pitched a great game,” Havre head coach Steve Fanning said. “When he is able to work the corners he is tough to beat. He stepped up all the way around today.” Peterson helped his own cause on offense, getting all the run production he needed when he scored on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Callahan following a leadoff triple in the bottom of the first inning to put Havre ahead 1-0. With a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Northstars gave themselves some much-needed insurance when both Peterson and Scott Ladenburg scored on a double to deep left field by Bryan Heath, pushing the lead to 4-0. Havre added three more runs in the top of the sixth thanks in large part to two critical errors by the Stallions, extending the Havre lead to 7-0 heading into the top of the seventh inning. In addition to his spectacular pitching performance, Peterson went 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored. Ladenburg added a hit, two runs and an RBI in the win, while Logan Reichelt also pitched in with two hits, a run and an RBI. Skyler Smith was the losing pitcher for the Stallions in the second game, after allowing seven runs, six of them earned on eight hits. Alex Waltari was the only Stallion to have any success against Peterson in the game, going 3-for-3, with all three hits being singles. Unfortunately for the Northstars, the opening game of the doubleheader was nothing like the nitecap. The two teams were tied 4-4 in extra innings when the Stallions finally broke the tie in the top of the 10th inning. A Brady Kangas double to lead off the inning and an error on Northstars pitcher Seth Jensen set the stage for a game-winning two-run triple by Waltari that scored both Kanagas and Smith to give the Stallions the winning margin of 6-4. Great Falls jumped out to an early 3- 0 lead on a two-run single in the top of the first inning by Jake Bleskin. However, despite trailing 3-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, the Northstars refused to fade away without a fight. John Christian belted an RBI single that scored Scott Vigliotti to cut the lead down to a single run. Then, two batters later, Heath hammered a two-run double to center field, scoring Ladenburg and Christian to give Havre a 4-3 lead. With two outs in the top of the seventh, the Northstars had a golden opportunity to end the game, but a clutch double by Kangas scored Bleskin to tie the game at 4-4, setting the stage for the Stallions dramatic win in extra innings. “Anytime you lose a game at home with so many missed opportunities you're going to be disappointed,” Fanning said “They got the big hits, we didn’t, that simple.” Bleskin earned the win for the Stallions by holding Havre to just four runs on eight hits despite throwing 168 pitches in 10 innings. He also struck out seven and walked five. Jensen was credited with the loss after surrendering six runs, five of them earned, on 11 hits in 10 innings. He also struck out five and walked none. “Seth has been pretty solid all season,” Fanning said. “He just flat out gets it done. We should have won that game for him today.” Waltari was 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs to spark the Stallions to victory. Bleskin also had a solid game with two hits and two RBIs for Great Falls. Heath had one hit and three RBIs in the loss for Havre. Christian added two hits and an RBI in addition to two hits by Vigliotti. “We need to find some consistency as a team and right now that is difficult to do,” Fanning said. “Obviously, we need to find our sticks again. If and when we do, we should be a much better team.” The Northstars (26-11) will now take to the road for four district games in Alberta, Canada this weekend. Havre will be in Fort MacLeod on Friday and Medicine Hat on Saturday.