Thompson gives Havre late lead with single, Spencer preserves it
By Jason Shoot
Youth and inexperience can often result in mental errors, and the Havre Comets' first game of an American Legion doubleheader Wednesday night showcased just what kind of lapses the team has battled through at times this season.
The second game, however, was a completely different story.
Tyler Thompson's two-out RBI single in the bottom of the fifth capped a furious Havre rally and lifted the Comets to a 7-6 win in the nightcap and split of the doubleheader at Legion Field.
Lethbridge capitalized on several Havre miscues in the opener and won that game 11-3.
Trailing 6-3 going into the fifth inning, Havre had three consecutive singles, including a run-scoring base hit by winning pitcher Ian Spencer to close the gap to 6-4.
A sacrifice fly by Cory Junck cut the deficit to one, and after Spencer scored to knot the game at 6-all, Thompson came through with his clutch hit to drive in Adam Jensen with the go-ahead run.
But Havre demonstrated its growth in the seventh with the game on the line.
The Comets were victimized by poor judgment in the first game when Lethbridge scored on a double steal late in the game to put that contest out of reach.
But Havre was having none of that in the second game.
With two out in the final inning and runners on first and third, the Miners again tried a double steal.
But Spencer gunned down Lethbridge's Joe Legge at the plate to end the game and preserve the game.
Mark Benjamin paced the Comets with a 3-for-3 effort and two doubles, Spencer was 2-for-4 with an RBI, Junck was 1-for-2 with two RBI, and Daine Solomon added an RBI single.
In the opener, Thompson came out struggling on the mound in the first, and Havre was unable to recover.
After a pair of walks and a strikeout in the first inning, Lethbridge's Jordan Rice hammered a Thompson fastball over the left-field wall to give the Miners a quick 3-0 lead.
Another run in the first and two more in the second provided more than enough offense for Miner pitcher Jordan Reiter, who scattered nine hits over seven innings.
The Comets' biggest embarassment came in the sixth, when Lethbridge scored on the aforementioned double steal to put the game firmly out of reach.
With runners at the corners, Legge tried to steal second before Thompson had even delivered the ball to the plate. The Comets pitcher turned to throw out the Miner runner, who intentionally put himself into a rundown to give teammate Kelly Gregus a shot at scoring from third.
Havre's defense lost track of Gregus until he had almost scored, and the ensuing throw home was late. The throw then allowed Legge to advance to second and later score on Robert Greeno's RBI single to make the score 9-3.
Rice then drove in another run with a single, and Craig Pittman followed with an RBI double to stretch the Miners' lead to eight.
Benjamin was 2-for-3 with an RBI single, and Junck finished 2-for-4 with an RBI groundout for Havre.