The Havre North Stars American Legion baseball club jumped right back into Northern District action, and came away with a hard-fought slit Sunday afternoon.
The North Stars were in Great Falls for a doubleheader with the Great Falls Electrics at Don Olson Field. Havre won the first game 8-6 in a 10-inning thriller, and dropped a close nightcap by a score of 6-5.
In the opener, the North Stars trailed by as much as four runs early on, but after tying the game at 5-5 in the top of the seventh, the two teams battled through extra innings. Finally, in the top of the 10th inning, the North Stars loaded the bases to go ahead, and the eventual winning run, Havre’s Tyrell Pierce was walked in by Electric’s pitcher Ryan O’Connell. Great Falls managed to tack on a run in the bottom of the 10th but it wasn’t enough to overcome the North Stars’ lead.
Brandon Smith pitched eight innings for the North Stars, striking out six, walking just two on 10 hits. He earned the win for Havre.
At the plate, Smith, Justin Jensen and David Denny each had two hits for the North Stars. Jensen and Thurman Holsdclaw each recorded triples, while Spencer Morkrid reached base three times and had two runs batted in.
The second game was just as exciting as the first, though the North Stars came out on the losing end on another extra-inning affair.
Havre jumped out two a quick 4-1 lead after two complete innings, but after that, the North Stars could only push one run across despite out-hitting the Electrics for the second straight game.
In the bottom of the eighth, with the game tied at five, Great Falls finally broke through, when Chris Phillips was hit by a pitch and eventually came around to score the winning run for Great Falls.
Chris Vukasin went 3-for-3 for the North Stars, while Smith and Holdsclaw had two hits each as well. On the mound, Jensen pitched seven strong innings, yielding just six hits and striking out three while taking the tough loss for the North Stars. He also went 2-for-4 at the dish.
Still, with the split Sunday, Havre is a stellar 4-1 in district play. The North Stars are back at home for two more games against the Electrics this Sunday.
North Stars 8, GF Electrics 6 (10 inn)
Havre 001 003 100 3 — 8 10 5
Great Falls 203 000 000 1 — 6 12 7
WP — Brandon Smith
Havre Batting — Justin Jensen 2-5, Spencer Morkrid 0-1 (2 RBI), brandon Smith 2-6 (2 RBI), Mark Vukasin 1-5 (1 RBI), Thruman Holdsclaw 1-5 (1 RBI), Gareth Bernard 0-5, David Denny 2-3, Dane Linquist 0-5 (1 RBI), Chris Vukasin 1-5, Tyrell Pierce 1-2.
2B — Jensen, Holdsclaw
GF Electrics 6, North Stars 5 (8 inn)
Havre 220 010 00 — 5 9 2
Great Falls 100 110 21 — 6 7 1
LP — Justin Jensen
Havre Batting — Justin Jensen 2-4, (1 RBI), Spencer Morkrid 0-0, Brandon Smith 2-4 (1 RBI), Mark Vukasin 0-3 (1 RBI), Thurman Holsdclaw 2-4 (2 RBI), Gareth Bernard 0-4, Jase Kato 0-2, Ned Malone 0-3, Chris Vukasin 3-3, Kody Hickman 0-2, David Denny 0-1.
2B — Smith.