By Harvey Brock
The Havre Northstars jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a 12-2 victory over the Havre Comets Wednesday night at Legion Field.
Northstars pitcher Cory Junck held the Comets hitless the first two innings, and allowed only three hits overall while striking out 15.
The Northstars used timely hitting early off Comet starter Alex Chenoweth and costly Comet errors to take a six-run lead in the first. Singles by Northstars shortstop Dan Wirtzberger, catcher Adam Jensen, second baseman Dusty Heath and first baseman Tyson Roe paced the rally.
The Northstars added another run in the second on a Jensen single. They added three more runs in the third.
Comet relief pitcher Brandon Morse began the fourth inning by striking out two. He held the Northstars hitless the next two innings.
The Northstars added anoter run in the sixth on singles by reserves Mark Benjamin, Chris Chandler and Junck.
Junck struck out the side in the bottom of the second and fourth innings and held the Comets scoreless through five innings, before the Comets finally got on the board in the bottom half of the sixth.
Brandon Morse's infield hit, Chazz Hurlburt's triple to right, and a Northstar error closed the gap to 11-2.
The Northstars added an insurance run in the top of the seventh, and Junck closed out a brilliant pitching performance striking out two and holding the Comets hitless in the bottom of the inning.
"Cory pitched really well," Northstar coach Mickey Williams said. "Our pitching has been good for us so far, but we need to get our bats going earlier. Chris Chandler came off the bench and had a couple nice hits for us."
Williams said playing the Comets is always tough.
"The guys are always nervous playing the Comets," he said. "They don't want to lose to them. I thought it was a decent game, after all the cancellations we have had in May it was good to get a game in."
Comets' coach Bob Evans thought nerves were a factor.
"We made some dumb mistakes early," he said. "I thought we played well after the first inning. Throw out the first inning and it's a five to two ballgame. This is a big step up from Babe Ruth for our guys. They're not used to this intensity. Our pitching was good, but we just made too many errors."
Both teams are back in action this week with the Northstars hosting the Great Falls Electrics Friday night at 7 and the Comets traveling to Glasgow for a doubleheader on Sunday.