After putting up a couple of good fights, a persistent Vauxhall team got the better of the Havre North Stars American Legion baseball club.
Tuesday evening, the North Stars and Spurs faced off in two district games at Legion Field in Havre. And while the North Stars put up a fight in both matchups, it was the Spurs who came away with two wins. Vauxhall took game one 4-0, and followed up with an 11-1 victory in game two.
“We take things from wins and losses,” North Star head coach Danny Wirtzberger said. “It is harder for us to compete after five or six innings, just because of our youth. But we are learning, and I was talking with the coaches, and I was thinking about our team in April. We have improved a ton. We wouldn’t have competed with teams like this, and at least now we are competing for a few innings.”
Offensively, the North Stars struggled to produce in both contests. But in the first game, runs were especially hard to come by.
Four hits weren’t enough to find a run, but the North Stars did have their chances. In the second inning, with the bases loaded and no outs, Spencer Ross went down swinging, while Tyrell Pierce and Deionn Hammet both flew out. Havre also left two runners on in the fifth, as the Spurs scored one run in the first, one in the third, one in the fifth, and one final run in the seventh inning, totaling eight hits as well. David Denny, Jase Kato, Pierce and Hammet all had one hit each for the North Stars, as Spurs’ pitcher Fehr walked just one Havre batter, struck out seven, and earned five groundouts, and nine flyouts.
The second game started out in similar fashion, but eventually, the Spurs’ bats broke out.
The ballgame was tied 1-1 through four innings, and both pitchers looked poised to battle for a win. But Pierce struggled in the fifth inning, and a 1-1 tie turned into a mercy rule win by the Spurs. Vauxhall chased Pierce out of the game after scoring six runs on three hits, a hit batter, two errors and two walks. Hammet came on in relief, but gave up four more runs before the end of the inning. The Spurs had six hits in the innings.
Pierce walked four batters and struck out two. Hammet walked another two batters in relief.
“I would have liked to have seen Tyrell stick that one out,” Wirtzberger said, “but he is going to throw again on Friday. But this was a team that we may see the very first game of districts, so it is nice to see we can compete with them, even it was for just six innings.”
Havre did get five hits in the game, but the defense also had three errors. Gunderson, Travis Roth, Chris Vukasin, Jase Kato, and Pierce all had one hit each for the North Stars.
Havre has one day of action left on the schedule before the postseason begins. Friday the North Stars will host Lethbridge for a district doubleheader at Legion Field. The first game was scheduled for 5 p.m., but has been bumped up to 1 p.m.
Vauxhall 4, Havre 0
Vauxhall 101 010 1 – 4 8 0
Havre 000 000 0 – 0 4 4
WP – Fehr; LP – Gavin Gunderson
Vauxhall – Fehr 1-3, Gibertson 1-2, Odland 1-4 RBI, Wong 2-4 2RBIs, Kress 1-4, Fode 0-4, Perin 2-3, Hagen 0-3, Melnychuck 0-2.
Havre – Gavin Gunderson 0-3, Travis Roth 0-3, Chris Vukasin 0-3, David Denny 1-3, Ryne Antley 0-2, Jase Kato 1-3, Spencer Ross 0-3, Tyrell Pierce 1-2, Deionn Hammet 1-2, Chris Pitkanen 0-1.
Havre's Jase Kato swings at a pitch during Game 1 of Tuesday night's doubleheader at Legion Field.
Vauxhall 11, Havre 1 (5 innings)
Vauxhall 100 0(10) – 11 9 0
Havre 010 00 – 1 5 3
WP – Gibertson; LP – Tyrell Pierce
Vauxhall – Ferh 3-4 4RBIs, Wandler 1-2 RBI, Odland 0-4, Wong 1-3 RBI, Kress 2-3 RBI, Fode 1-3 2RBI, Knouse 0-0, Marshall 0-1, Melnychuk 1-2 RBI.
Havre – Gavin Gunderson 1-3, Travis Roth 1-2, Chris Vukasin 1-1, David Denny 0-2, Ryne Antley 0-1, Jase Kato 1-2, Spencer Ross 0-2, Tyrell Pierce 1-2 RBI, Deionn Hammet 0-2.