The Havre North Stars American Legion baseball club is hoping to enjoy the friendly confines of Legion Field on Saturday.
That’s because they won’t see it again for almost a month.
Sunday afternoon, the North Stars will host the Medicine Hat Knights in a Northern A District doubleheader at legion Field, ahead of embarking on a month-long road trip in which they won’t play at home again until June 29.
The North Stars are coming off a fourth straight convincing win over the Great Falls Stallions, which put them at 5-3 in district play. Against the Stallions on Wednesday night, Havre got an outstanding outing from first-year pitcher Tyrell Pierce, all while banging out 12 hits and scoring 17 runs at the plate.
However, as good as Havre has been the last month, the North Stars have only faced their two rivals from Great Falls. Over the next month, Havre will play Canadian league foes in Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Vauxhall and Fort MacLeod, as well as perhaps its biggest rival, the Tri-County Cardinals.
Up first is the Knights. Medicine Hat has a Class AA team as well, so the Knights are made up of younger players. However, that hasn’t meant the Knights are inexperienced or less talented. In fact, Medicine Hat has finished in the top three at the Northern A Tournament the last three years, and the Knights are generally a strong pitching team, as well as very good on defensive fundamentals.
That means Havre will have to continue its onslaught at the plate. Justin Jensen, Brandon Smith, Mark Vukasin, Thurman Holdsclaw and Chris Vukasin are all hitting over .400 while slugger Gareth Bernard has plenty of pop at the dish as well.
On the mound, the North Stars rely heavily on Smith, Jensen and Mark Vukasin, while Spencer Morkird and Pierce can also be very effective.
Sunday's doubleheader between the North Stars and Knights gets underway at 1 p.m. at Legion Field.