After starting Thursday night’s doubleheader with a positive step forward, the Havre North Stars’ night was spoiled by a tough loss.
Havre’s Legion Field held two district games Thursday night. The American Legion North Stars hosted the Great Falls Electrics, a team that swept the North Stars nearly two months ago in Great Falls.
But in the second meeting, the North Stars showed they have done a lot of improving since the beginning of the season. Havre proved its point with an 8-7 extra-innings win in Game 1. But Great Falls showed why they are still one of the top teams in the district, rebounding, and beating the North Stars 11-0 in five innings in the nightcap.
And the win didn’t come easy for the North Stars, but they did prove their point, showing this team has improved a ton compared to early on.
The North Stars got a great outing from starting pitcher Tyrell Pierce, as well as great defense behind Pierce, and several timely hits and runs. But the most important run came in extra innings. With the ballgame tied at 6-6, and the Electrics scoring no runs in the top of the eight, the North Stars still
had a shot at getting away with a win. Jase Kato started the bottom of the eighth with a walk, and Travis Roth followed with a base hit. And two batters later, with two outs, Ryne Antley smacked a hard-hit ground ball at the Great Falls shortstop that he couldn’t handle. The error gave the speedy Gavin Gunderson the window he needed to score the go-ahead run for the North Stars, ending the game with the one-run victory.
Great Falls quickly led 2-1 after the first inning, but the North Stars stuck around. The game was tied 3-3 through two, but the Electrics regained the lead at 4-3. Then, utilizing one hit and two Great Falls errors, the North Stars took a 6-3 lead in the fourth inning.
But neither team gave up, and the Havre lead dwindled to 6-5 in the fifth before the ball game was tied at 6-6 in the seventh.
Pierce gave up the seven runs, but pitched very well overall. Five runs were earned runs, while he gave up eight hits, walked three and hit one. Pierce also struck out three batters, facing 37 overall. The defense also committed zero errors, helping Pierce’s efforts.
The offense didn’t do too badly either, as the North stars grabbed nine hits of their own, as well as four walks. Travis Roth was 3-for-5 in the leadoff spot, Ryne Antley was also 3-for-5 with three RBIs and a triple. Thurman Holdsclaw, David Denny and Kato each had one hit as well.
In the tough loss, the Electrics took advantage of Gunderson on the mound.
Great Falls scored three quick runs in the first inning and never looked back. They led 3-0 through one, then added one run in the second, one in the third, one in the fourth, and finally a game-ending five in the fifth. Gunderson pitched for four innings, and then was relieved by Dan Miller and Denny.
Havre also mustered just two hits off of very-tough starting pitcher Quest Fellows. Holdsclaw and Deionn Hammet each had a single.
The North Stars will continue with their busy schedule Monday, hosting another rival for two more district matchups. Havre will host Tri-County, with game one of the doubleheader slated for 5 p.m. at Legion field.
Havre 7, Great Falls 6
Great Falls 210 020 10 – 6 8 2
Havre 121 200 01 – 7 9 0
WP – Tyrell Pierce; LP – Jake Lowery
Great Falls – Drew Brennan 0-4, Dallas Farren 2-3, Gabe Kuntz 2-3 RBI, Matt Garcia 1-4 RBI, Eli Toon 1-3 2RBI, Dawson Reiman 0-4, Brendon Mounten 0-2, Kaden Suket 1-2, Blake Nichalson 1-4 RBI.
Havre – Travis Roth 3-5, Gavin Gunderson 0-2, Thurman Holdsclaw 1-5 RBI, Ryne Antley 3-5 3RBI, Tyrell Pierce 0-4, Chris Vukasin 0-2, David Denny 1-2 RBI, Spencer Ross 1-4, Jase Kato 0-3 RBI.
Havre North Star Ryne Antley takes a swing during Thursday night's doubleheader.
Great Falls 11, Havre 0
Great Falls 311 15 – 11 10 0
Havre 000 00 – 0 2 3
WP – Quest Fellows; LP – Gavin Gunderson
Great Falls – Blake Nichalson 1-4 RBI, Eli Toon 2-2 2RBI, Gabe Kuntz 1-2 RBI, J Burtsfield 1-4 2RBI, Joe Maney 1-4, Dawson Reiman 1-2 RBI, Marc Judice 1-3, Devin Brown 0-2, Jake Lowery 2-2 2RBI.
Havre – Travis Roth 0-1, Thurman Holdsclaw 1-2, Ryne Antley 0-2, Tyrell Pierce 0-2, David Denny 0-2, Spencer Ross 0-2, Chris Pitkanen 0-2, Deionn Hammet 1-2, Dustin Odegard 0-2.