Chris Peterson Havre Daily News email@example.com
If you’re a baseball fan, then you will want to spend your week at Legion Field, because the 10 best teams in the Babe Ruth 14-15 year-old division are converging on Havre for the state tournament to decide who really is the best of the best. Last year, the Havre All-Star team put together a magical run that brought home the Montana Babe Ruth state championship. However, a new season, new teams and new players mean that this year’s state championship is there for the taking. The five-day tournament begins today with the start of pool play. Each of the 10 teams has been split up into two pools, the American Pool and the National Pool. The American pool consists of Belgrade, Glacier, Helena, Glendive and Northern, who is the co-host with Havre. The National Pool is made up of cohost Havre, Livingston, Hi-Line, Kalispell and South Valley. Each team will square off against every team in their respective pool, and when it’s all over, the team with the worst win-loss record in each pool will be eliminated, while the remaining eight teams will enter the single elimination portion of the tournament. The teams will be seeded for the eight-team single-elimination round according to their win-loss record in pool play. The tournament will officially get underway today at noon when Kalispell and South Valley dual it out in a National Pool game. Havre will begin its run through pool play tonight at 8 when it meets up with Kalispell. A big key to success for Havre in the game will be the pitching of its ace starting pitcher Roman Surber, who will almost certainly get the nod against Kalispell. “A lot of it is going to depend on Roman,” Havre head coach Lunar Evans said. “He is our stud pitcher and we are going to need him to pitch well to have a chance in this tournament. But I think if we can get some good innings out of him and get our bats going a little bit, we should be able to make it to the single elimination round.” Surber is no doubt the go-to-guy of the Havre pitching staff, which also includes solid pitchers Justin Jensen, Will DeVries and Garreth Bernard. The job of handling the pitching staff will go to starting catcher C.J. Evans. Besides being the lone catcher on the team, Evans will also play a big role on offense as the lead-off hitter. It will be crucial that Evans finds a way to get on base and into scoring position for the big bats of both Surber and DeVries. When Surber is not pitching he will play in the field at either third base or center field, while DeVries will share time at first base with Jake Lilletvedt. The rest of the infield includes, both Tyson Gruber and Bernard at second base, Jensen at third base and Nic Sunchild at third base. Lilletvedt will also see time in the outfield along with Brandon Brostrom, Dan Miller, Luke Ryan, Justin Denny and Matt Olson. “The most important thing for us is to just limit our mistakes,” Evans said. “We can’t be throwing the ball all over the place and making a bunch of errors. The key for us is to play mistake free baseball and I think that if we can do that, we are good enough to make a run and see what happens.” There will be three other games today. Belgrade and Glendive will play at 2, Glacier and Helena will go headto- head at 4 and Livingston will take on the Hi-Line team at 6. All games will be played at Legion Field in Havre. The single elimination part of the tournament will begin on Saturday and the state championship game will be on Sunday at 2 pm.