The Havre North Stars American Legion baseball club is still fighting to find a turning point in their season. But as a long stretch of Northern A games just got under way, a quick two-game stop at home wasn’t the answer.
Wednesday afternoon the North Stars hosted the Fort MacLeod Royals in two Northern A games. And while fans and players couldn’t have asked for a better day for baseball games, the North Stars continued to struggle with two league losses. In game one, the Royals defeated Havre 5-4 and in game two of the doubleheader, the Royals defeated Havre 19-9 in five innings of play.
With the two losses, the North Stars overall record dropped to 9-13, while their conference record dipped to 3-7.
In game one of the afternoon the North stars struggled to get the offense going. They combined for just nine hits and three RBIs and left eight runners on the bases. The Royals, on the other hand, they grabbed their five runs on just six hits, but capitalized on four North Star errors.
The Royals put up one run in the first inning, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and added one more in the seventh. The North Stars woke up in the sixth inning and put three runs on the board, including an RBI double by Justin Denny and a two-RBI single by Thurman Holdsclaw.
Havre trailed 4-3 after a solid sixth inning, but couldn’t hold the Royals in the seventh, which resulted in the one-run loss.
Leading the Havre offense was Justin Jensen, going 3-of-4 at the plate and Kolby Sukut going 2-of-4. Brandon Smith, Garreth Bernard, Holdsclaw and Denny all had one hit each.
Smith was also on the mound for the North Stars and pitched a complete game. Smith faced 33 batters, while walking three and striking out six. Smith also hit two batters in his 110-pitch outing.
In game two, the North Star bats woke up, but unfortunately they couldn’t stop the surging Royals. The North Stars were able to produce more run support the second time around, but the defense still gave up 19 runs on 16 hits and eight more errors.
This time around Havre put together just eight hits, but grabbed nine runs off of seven RBIs. Havre also took advantage of three Royals’ errors. Jensen helped lead the offense once again, this time going 2-of-2, but Colt Young also went 2-of-2 with two RBIs. Smith also had two RBIs, going 2-of-4 from the plate. Bernard, Denny, Holdsclaw and Morkrid all had an RBI as well, with Holdsclaw and Denny grabbing one hit each.
It was good to see the North Star offense producing more runs, but the Royals jumped out to a 4-0 first inning lead and never looked back. The Royals added five in the third, seven in the fourth and three in the fifth. Havre totaled two in the second, four in the third and three in the fourth.
Bernard was on the mound in the nightcap and pitched all five innings. He gave up the 16 hits after facing 42 batters and throwing 109 pitches. Bernard also walked two, struck out five and hit four.
There is still time to turn the tables on the rough patch the North Stars have found themselves in, but it’s a short turnaround before returning to action. The North Stars go to Medicine Hat on Saturday and Vauxhall on Sunday for four more district games. Havre returns home on June 28 to face the Great Falls Electrics in a Northern A doubleheader.
A Royal Visit
Fort MacLeod 5, North Stars 4
Fort MacLeod 100 210 1 – 5 6 0
Havre 000 003 1 – 4 9 4
WP – Maverick Price, LP – Brandon Smith
Havre – Justin Jensen 3-4, Spencer Morkrid 0-4, Colt Young 0-4, Brandn Smith 1-2, Kolby Sukut 2-4, Garreth Bernard 1-1, Justin Denny 1-3 RBI, Thurman Holdsclaw 1-2 2RBI, Chance Pitkanen 0-3.
Fort MacLeod – Taylor Wosten 1-4, Maverick Price 1-1, Jake Hanson 2-3 RBI, Lew Lavorato 0-2, Steven Shuweil 1-4 RBI, Tyler Ammaun 1-3, Ryan Cook 0-3, Blair Goodreau 1-3 RBI, Josh Foster 0-3.
Fort MacLeod 19, North Stars 9 (5 inn.)
Fort MacLeod 405 73x x – 19 16 3
Havre 024 30x x – 9 8 8
WP – Ryan Cook, LP – Garreth Bernard
Havre – Justin Jensen 2-2, Thurman Holdsclaw 1-3, Brandon Smith 2-4 2RBI, Kolby Sukut 0-4, Justin Denny 1-3 RBI, Colt Young 2-2 2RBI, Spencer Morkrid 0-1 RBI, Matt Hanley 0-2.
Fort MacLeod - Taylor Wosten 4-5 3RBI, Maverick Price 1-2 RBI, Jake Hanson 1-3 2RBI, Lew Lavorato 3-5 2RBI, Steven Shuweil 3-4 2RBI, Tyler Ammaun 1-4 RBI, Ryan Cook 1-4, Blair Goodreau 1-3 2RBI, Josh Foster 0-3, Aiden Kidd 0-1.