By Kim Staudinger
In a season dominated by pitching, the Northstars' Ian Spencer kept the trend going in the first game of a doubleheader with the Great Falls Stallions Sunday at Legion Field.
Spencer gave up one run on two hits in the first inning but settled down and allowed only two hits in the next 4 innings. The second hit proved costly. Stallions centerfielder Garrett Thompson rifled a shot up the middle that ricocheted off of Spencer near his right shin.
Spencer left the game after that play and Cory Junck came on in relief. Junck struck out four of the six batters he faced, securing the 9-1 win for the Northstars.
Havre scored three in the bottom of the first inning and added one more in the second, three in the fourth and two in the sixth.
Dan Wirtzberger led the Northstars with a 2-for-3 effort, including two runs scored and three runs batted in. Steve Heberly and Doug Ireland were also 2-for-3. Heberly scored twice while Ireland crossed home plate once. Dusty Heath and Daine Solomon had 2-for-4 games. Heath drove in three runs, and Solomon scored three times while driving in one.
In the second game of the doubleheader, a four-run second inning guided the Northstars to a 4-1 win.
Tyler Thompson pitched six strong innings, allowing only one unearned run. Thompson struck out nine and gave up four hits. Heberly came on in relief and pitched a perfect seventh inning.
The Stallions' pitchers held the Northstars to five hits.
On Friday, the Northstars were on the road in Great Falls, taking on the Electrics. Despite scoring two runs in the top of the ninth inning, the Havre team lost 6-4.
Doug Ireland, working on a hitless season so far, gave up three runs, two earned, on seven hits. Eric Lipp came on in the sixth inning and also gave up three runs, two of which were earned. Lipp allowed only one hit and struck out six.
The Electrics scored three runs in the second inning on four hits and one error. They sent nine men to the plate in the inning and left the bases loaded. Each hit was a single.
Back-to-back walks proved costly in the seventh inning for the Northstars as the Electrics struck for three more runs.
The Electrics' pitching held Havre batters to five hits in the game.
The next game for the Northstars is Wednesday night at Legion Field against the Havre Comets.