By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The Havre Northstars are still going strong.
The Northstars play in the semifinal match-up at the American Legion Northwest Pacific Class A regional baseball tournament in Glendive.
The only wrench in the game plan is that they meet currently undefeated Salem, Oregon, Monday at 7:05 p.m. at Meisner Field. Because Havre already met Burley, Idaho, the Northstars were moved to a different bracket to avoid playing the same team twice.
When they met the Burley Bobcats on Saturday, the Northstars were handed their first tournament loss in nine games. Burley downed the Northstars 12-2, which sent them to the loser-out bracket.
The Northstars opened the tournament on Friday with a 5-4 win against the Douglas, Wyo., Cats. Alan Mapes pitched five innings and collected the win from the mound.
Josh Lybecker, Mace Mangold and Michael Holden each went 1-for-3 from the plate.
In the fifth inning, two Cat errors led to Northstar runs. Although the Cats scored first, by the end of the fifth inning, the Northstars were up 3-1.
In the sixth inning, the Northstars tallied two more runs and held off a one-run-per-inning surge by the Cats through the eighth inning.
On Saturday afternoon, the Burley, Idaho, Bobcats handed Havre its first tournament loss and held the Northstars to the fewest runs in at least 10 games.
Lybecker, the State A tournament MVP, pitched all eight innings for the loss. Havre had seven hits but only two runs in the contest. Jake Ingram went 2-for-4 from the plate. The Bobcats had nine hits for 12 runs in the victory.
However, Havre avenged the Saturday loss on Sunday when it downed regular season conference foe, Glendive, 12-2. At state, Havre downed Glendive in a nailbiter in the last innings of play. But Sunday, the Northstars made it look easy.
Havre scattered 10 hits in the contest and opened the game with two quick runs by Mapes and Nate Baltrusch. Mapes, whose bat was strangely silent for the first two games, went 2-for-2 and Baltrusch went 3-for-4 from the plate.
In the second inning, after holding Glendive scoreless through one inning, the Northstars exploded, collecting four runs to increase the lead to 6-0 through one-and-one-half innings. Ricky Brown went 3-for-5, Ingrams only hit was a double and Mangold went 2-for-4 with a double in the contest.
Glendive would only score in the second and sixth innings. Dustin Fulwiler collected the win from the mound for the Northstars.
In other action, Aberdeen, Wash., downed Vancouver, Wash., 12-2, to advance into the semifinals. It will meet Burley, Idaho, who was handed its first loss in the tournament by Salem, Ore. Burley was defeated 14-1.
Fridays games Havre Northstars def. Douglas, Wyo., Cats 5-4; Burley, Idaho, Bobcats def. Vancouver, Wash., Redbirds 13-3; Salem, Ore., def. Anchorage, Alaska, 17-5; Aberdeen, Wash., Rainiers def. Glendive Blue Devils 9-4.
Saturdays games loser out; Vancouver def. Douglas 17-5; Glendive def. Anchorage 11-10. Burley def. Havre 12-2; Salem def. Aberdeen 7-4.
Sundays games loser out; Havre def. Glendive 12-2; Aberdeen def. Vancouver 12-2; Salem def. Burley 14-1.