Another Havre youth baseball season has come to an end this summer, but the Havre 15-year-old Babe Ruth All Stars didn’t go quietly.
Over the weekend, the Babe Ruth ball players went 4-2 at the state tournament in Whitefish. And after losing the opening game, it may have been one of the more memorable youth baseball runs Havre has seen in some time.
With the four wins, Havre ended the season as the third-best team in its state division They first suffered a 10-4 loss to Helena, but then rattled off a 15-9 win over Bitterroot, an 8-6 win over defending state champion Hi-Line, a 6-2 win over Northern, and a 13-7 win over Glendive. The win over Glendive boosted Havre out of the loser’s bracket, and into the championship semifinals. But the semis was where the great run ended, as Kalispell finally took down Havre 11-0.
“I am really proud of these kids,” Havre coach Matt Jensen said. “And what they accomplished this weekend. It has been a long time since we have put up this many wins at state at this level, let alone win a game at state. These kids battled every game to get the win, and they should all be proud of themselves for what they did.”
The opening game was a struggle for Havre, and coach Jenson recognized his squad looked nervous. And after giving up nine runs in the first two innings, Havre couldn’t keep pace with Helena.
But as the weekend progressed, Havre played very well, and beat some very good teams.
In the win over Bitterroot, some nervous play by Havre was still visible, but they were able to overcome a 6-0 deficit. Havre climbed within three, then managed to score five more runs in the fifth and seven more runs in the sixth to run away with the game. Charlie Christianson pitched all seven innings for the win. T.J. Lovenguth went 2-for-3 and scored two runs, while Jake Sedahl also had two hits and three RBIs, and Jeff Miller had three hits and scored two runs of his own.
The two-run win over Hi-Line of Glasgow came in eight innings of play, and it didn’t come easily. Havre was up 4-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth, where Hi-Line scored five runs. In the top of the seventh Havre took back the lead at 6-5, but Hi-Line tied the ballgame in the bottom of the frame. Havre took the win with two runs in the eighth, as Dylan Carpenter overcame his pitching loss to Helena, and grabbed his first win of the weekend.
Miller went 4-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI, while Jerod Boles had two singles and the go-ahead RBI. Jacob Labrie had a single, and scored the go-ahead run.
The final two wins over Northern of Conrad and Glendive were also big wins for Havre, as they scored a combined 19 runs, and allowed a combined nine runs by the opposition. Facing Northern, Havre had to overcome an early 2-1 deficit to earn the win, but facing Glendive, Havre jumped out to a 6-4 lead. Defense was key in the final stages of the weekend, as Havre had zero errors in two more wins for Christianson and Carpenter on the mound.
Jace Stokes had one hit and three RBIs versus Northern, while Miller had one double, and Sedahl had one hit and two RBIs. Facing Glendive, Christianson had one hit, while Carpenter was hit by a pitch three times, and Miller had three hits, including a triple, had three RBIs and scored four runs.
As the great run came to an end, a Havre team running low on fumes ran into a very talented Kalispell team Saturday night. Havre was shutout in the contest, and coach Jensen recognized his team couldn’t get anything going offensively. Defensive mistakes also made keeping pace difficult, as Parker Filius suffered the loss on the mound. Miller helped lead the offense with one single, finishing 1-for-2.
For more all-star results from Havre Youth Baseball, see the Havre Daily News this week.