Northstars erase 7-run deficit
By Jason Shoot
Havre Northstars coach Mickey Williams described the first two innings of last night's game against the Havre Comets "the worst two innings we've played all year."
Fortunately, his team had seven more innings to make amends.
The Northstars scored 12 unanswered runs to erase an early seven-run deficit to come back for a 13-8 win over the Comets in an American Legion baseball game at Legion Field.
The win was much more difficult to achieve than the Northstars' 9-0 win over the younger Comets on April 19.
Trailing 8-3 in the sixth inning, the Northstars scored three runs on an error and three hits, including Jared Boyce's two-run single, to shrink the Comets' advantage to 8-6.
The Northstars then took the lead in the seventh with four runs on three hits and a Comets error. Danny Wirtzberger, who finished 3-for-3, and Jordan Anderson each had RBI singles, and Boyce added a run-scoring sacrifice fly for the Northstars in the inning the help them secure the lead.
Wirtzberger added a two-run single in the eighth inning to plate two of the team's three runs in the inning to give the Northstars a 13-8 lead and put the game away.
"When we got down that much, I wasn't sure if we could come back or not," Williams said. "But in a nine-inning game a lot can happen."
The Comets benefited from a six-run first inning featuring five base hits and two errors by the Northstars defense. Bobby Bergren, Mark Banjamin and starting pitcher Cory Junck each had run-scoring singles in the inning.
After Kyle Sheppard's RBI single in the bottom half of the first cut the Northstars' gap to 6-1, the Comets pushed two more runs across the plate in the second on an error and a passed ball to take their lead back to 8-1.
But Northstars starter Mike Kellam didn't allow a run in the third, and Jared Boyce, who replaced Kellam in the top of the fourth, pitched six shutout innings to allow the team to rally.
"He's a strong pitcher for us," Williams said of Boyce. "We expect a lot from him."
Comets coach Bob Evans Sr. was even more complimentary of the Northstars pitcher.
"He's among the best in the state," Evans said. "Boyce just shut (the Comets) down, and I think maybe our players were intimidated a little bit."
Junck, Jensen (7) and Drake; Kellam, Boyce (4) and Jurenka. W Boyce. L Jensen.
Leading hitters Comets: Ian Spencer 2-4, Bobby Bergren 1-2, Cory Junck 1-3, Ben Mader 1-3, Mark Benjamin 1-4, Daine Solomon 1-4, Chris Chandler 1-4, Tyson Roe 1-4. Northstars: Danny Wirtzberger 3-3, Kyle Sheppard 3-5 (triple), Jordan Anderson 2-3, Jared Boyce 2-3, Cody Soosay 1-1, Mike Kellam 1-4.