Instead of two seven-inning games, Wednesday night’s action was changed to two five-inning games at Legion field.
The purpose was to beat the approaching storm, and the plan worked just as planned. But unfortunately for the Havre North Stars American Legion baseball team, they didn’t get off the diamond before the Great Falls Hawks erupted into a storm of their own.
Wednesday at Legion field in Havre, the North Stars and Hawks split in a non-league doubleheader. The North Stars took Game 1, 8-7, but the Hawks more than rebounded, and took Game 2, 23-1.
And Game 1 wasn’t an easy win for the North Stars, as a late surge by the Hawks was almost the headline.
Heading into the top of the fifth inning, the North Stars held an 8-4 lead. It wasn’t a comfortable lead by any means, knowing the Hawks’ lineup could hit from top to bottom, and the North Stars had struggled with errors already. Through the first four innings, the North Stars had committed three errors. And in the top of the fifth, Havre committed three more, as they allowed three runs on two hits. Fortunately, the surge stopped at three runs, and the North Stars were able to come away with the one run, 8-7 victory.
Havre came back from a 2-0 deficit, tying the ballgame at 2-2 in the third inning. Havre then fell behind 4-2 through the top of the fourth, but posted six runs on five hits in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead. Gavin Gunderson led the North Stars with two hits and two RBIs, while Spencer Ross, Tyrell Pierce, Thurman Holdsclaw, Travis Roth, Ryne Antley, and David Denny all had one hit each as well.
Pierce got the win on mound, pitching the complete game. Pierce gave up five hits, three walks, and struck out three.
But in game two of the evening, the errors continued for the North Stars, but resulted in too many runs to contend with.
Great Falls posted 10 runs in the second inning, three in the third, five in the fourth, and five more in the fifth, running away with the game, and taking advantage of seven errors and an impressive 20 hits. The Hawks earned the 20 hits off of starting pitcher Antley, and relievers Roth and Denny. The North Stars were held to just six hits as they scored one run in the third inning off of a Roth RBI single.
It was a tough tale end of the doubleheader, but the North Stars did escape with one win. And the North Stars will look to get back in the win column as they travel to Deer Lodge Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Havre 8, Great Falls 7
Great Falls 002 23 – 7 5 2
Havre 002 6x – 8 8 6
WP – Tyrell Pierce; LP – Matt Kangas
Great Falls – Jake Kangas 0-2 2RBIs, Bridger Croft 1-2, N. Cruze 0-2, Jacob Jackson 0-3, Luke Wilson 1-3, Matt Kangas 0-2, K. Blackbird 1-1, Dan Rose 0-3 RBI, D. Bigalow 0-3, Erick Bailey 1-1, Devin Sanchez 1-1 2RBIs.
Havre – Thurman Holdsclaw 1-3 RBI, Travis Roth 1-2 RBI, Gavin Gunderson 2-3 2RBIs, Chance Pitkanen 0-2, Spencer Ross 1-2, David Denny 1-2 RBI, Jase Kato 0-2, Dan Miller 0-1, Ryne Antley 1-2 RBI, Kyle Gooch 0-1, Tyrell Pierce 1-1 RBI.
Great Falls 23, Havre 1
Great Falls 0(10)3 55 – 23 20 0
Havre 001 00 – 1 6 7
WP – Erick Bailey; LP – Ryne Antley
Great Falls – Jake Kangas 4-6 2RBIs, Bridger Croft 1-4, Nick Cruze 2-4 2RBIs, Devin Sanchez 2-2, Jacob Jackson 2-2 3RBIs, Erick Bailey 3-5 4RBIs, Matt Kangas 3-5 2RBIs, Dan Rose 1-3 RBI, Luke Wilson 2-4 2RBIs.
Havre – Thurman Holdsclaw 1-3, Rravis Roth 2-3 RBI, Gavin Gunderson 1-3, Chance Pitkanen 0-3, Kyle Gooch 0-1, David Denny 1-2, Dustin Odegard 0-2, Deion Hammet 0-2, Dan Miller 0-2.