By Kim Staudinger
It was a perfect night for baseball, and Kyle Sheppard took advantage of the situation.
Sheppard pitched six strong innings, had two triples and an RBI to lead the Northstars to a 3-1 victory Wednesday night over the Comets at Legion Field.
The fifth inning proved costly for the Comets, who entered the bottom half of the inning tied 1-1.
Jared Boyce had a run-scoring single to drive in Jordan Anderson, who led off the inning with a single. Sheppard's first triple of the night then plated Boyce to give the Northstars all the runs they would need for the night.
The only rally the Comets could put together came in the first as Ian Spencer helped himself out with an RBI single scoring Bobby Bergren.
The Comets could only amass one hit the rest of the game.
Sheppard and Boyce had a combined nine strikeouts and scattered three hits over the nine innings.
Sheppard struck out five Comets and gave up two hits in his six innings before Boyce come on in the seventh for three innings of one-hit relief.
"The pitching was good, and we are hitting the ball well," Northstars coach Mickey Williams said. "But it was not a very exciting game, kind of a dead feeling."
But Sheppard and Boyce were not the only ones who pitched well. "Ian was great, the pitching was great," Comets coach Bob Evans said. "I was really happy with our kids, they played really well tonight."
The Comets demonstrated maturity ending an attempted rally in the seventh, getting Eric Lipp to ground out to third to leave the bases loaded.
The composure the Comets kept during the seventh inning even got Williams's attention. "The Comets played real well tonight. They are looking tough right now," he said.
For the Northstars, Anderson finished the game 3-for-5 with a run scored, Boyce was 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored, and Sheppard was 2-for-4 and drove in a run.
The Comets have a busy weekend ahead as they play a doubleheader in Lewistown on Saturday and a twinbill against Medicine Hat at home on Sunday.
The Comets and Northstars will split a pair of doubleheaders Monday and Tuesday against Kate Andrews each team playing one game each day.