By Kim Staudinger
Six games in three days. That was the task the Havre Northstars faced this Memorial Day weekend.
The Northstars won all six games to pick up six conference wins.
The Northstars defeated the Havre Comets 4-1 in both games of a doubleheader Saturday night. They defeated Medicine Hat 9-5 and 6-1 Sunday and beat the Great Falls Sparkies 10-0 and 12-6 Monday afternoon.
Tyler Thompson picked up the win in the first game against the Comets, and Ian Spencer pitched a complete game for the second win.
The Northstars scored two runs in the second inning of the first game, sparked by a triple by Danny Wirtzberger. Wirtzberger later scored on a single by Dusty Heath. Heath and Wirtzberger led the team with 2-for-4 games. The Northstars added one run in the third and another in the sixth for the win.
The Comets were led by Chris Chandler and Chazz Hurlburt, each with 2-for-3 games. Chandler had two singles and Hurlburt two doubles. Coda Tchida scored the lone run for the Comets.
In the second game, the sixth inning proved costly for the Comets as the Northstars scored three runs on four hits. Bobby Bergren, Doug Ireland and Eric Lipp each drove in runs in the inning.
The Comets' lone run came in the second inning as Chandler drove in Hurlburt with a single to right. Hurlburt led off the inning with a double.
Comets coach Bob Evans was happy with his team's noticeable improvements since the last games with the Northstars.
"Our pitching was just awesome tonight," he said. "I was really pleased with them, real pleased. We cut down on our strikeouts and hit the ball better. We had some people on base. If we could have had some hits, we could have won both ballgames pretty easily, I think.
"We were never out of the ballgame."
Northstars coach Mickey Williams agreed with Evans.
"They looked real good," he said. "They made all the plays and when they make the plays, they're going to be good. The Comets pitched really well."
The two games were makeup games for matchups canceled earlier in the season due to weather. The Northstars and Comets will face each other one last time Wednesday night at 7:30 at Legion Field.
A huge seven-run first inning lifted the Northstars past Medicine Hat Sunday in game one.
A walk, three straight singles and a hit batter drove home the first two runs of the inning. Ireland followed with a two-run single to up the lead to 4-0. Tyler VanderMars and Adam Jensen also each added RBI singles to cap the inning. They added one more run in the third and one in the fifth to close out the game.
Medicine Hat capitalized on three Havre errors in the fourth inning to score all of its runs.
Lipp pitched all seven innings for the win.
In the second game Sunday, Havre scored two runs in each of the first, third and sixth innings to win 6-1.
Ireland picked up the win, pitching seven strong innings.
The Northstars' long weekend finally came to an end Monday afternoon with two wins against the Great Falls Sparkies.
A late rally in the fifth inning gave the Northstars a 10-run advantage, which ended the game.
But the big inning was the second inning for Havre, scoring five runs on five hits and one error. Bergren drove in two runs with a single and Steve Heberly drove in one, also with a single.
Junck pitched all five innings and allowed three hits for the win.
The teams were tied at 3-all going into the bottom of the fourth inning in game two when VanderMars drove home Spencer to give the Northstars a lead they would not relinquish.
VanderMars also sparked a rally in the sixth inning with a lead-off home run. The homer was his first as a left-handed batter. The Northstars scored six runs in the inning on seven hits and two errors.
VanderMars finished the game with five RBIs and needed a double to complete the cycle.