It’s so far so good for the Havre North Stars American Legion baseball team at the Northern district tournament.
In Great Falls, the No. 3 North Stars kicked off the tournament on Thursday as they took on the No. 6 Lethbridge Miners. And keeping the hopes of a state berth alive, the North Stars captured a dominating 11-1 win.
Brandon Smith got the nod on the mound in the postseason opener and got things kicked off right with a dominating performance. Gareth Bernard came on in relief, and in the seven innings on the mound, the two allowed just one run in the sixth inning.
The North Stars grabbed runs in nearly every opportunity they had.
Havre earned two runs in the first, one in the third, one in the fourth, two in the fifth and five in the sixth. The North Stars grabbed the 11 runs on 15 hits and zero Lethbridge errors. The North Stars also limited their errors with zero, and allowed just five Miners’ hits.
Justin Jensen and Bernard led the North Stars bats, both going 3-for-3. Jensen also had two doubles, while Bernard had two RBIs. Smith, Colt Young and Justin Denny all went 2-for-4, with Young grabbing a triple, a double and two RBIs as well. Denny also had an RBI, while Sukut went 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Thurman Holdsclaw came away with a double and an RBI as well to pitch in. Chris Vukasin went 1-for-3.
With the win in round one action, the North Stars will take on second-seeded Fort MacLeod today at 4 p.m. in a winner's bracket semifinal. If Havre wins, it will play Saturday at 4 p.m. or if the North Stars lose to the Royals, they will play at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
North Stars 11, Lethbridge Miners 1
Lethbridge 000 001 0 — 1 5 0
Havre 201 125 x — 11 15 0
WP — Smith: LP — Sakatch.
Lethbridge — Tanner Shirakawa 0-3, Garet Burton 0-2, Dustin Yanke 0-0, Tanner Layton 1-3, Trevor Sakatch 1-3, Jack McDonald 1-3, Nick Tetzlaff 1-3, Justin Sturm 0-3, Tristan Thiessen 0-3, Dustin Houghton 1-3.
Havre — Justin Jensen 3-3, Thurman Holdsclaw 1-3, Brandon Smith 2-4, Kolby Sukut 1-4, Gareth Bernard 3-3, Colt Young 2-4, Mark Vukasin 0-2, Justin Denny 2-4, Chris Vukasin 1-3.
2B — McDonald, Jensen 2, Holdsclaw, Sukut, Young.
3B — Sakatch, Young.
RBIs — McDonald, Jensen, Holdsclaw, Denny, Sukut 2, Bernard 2, Young 2, Vukasin 2.