The Havre North Stars American Legion baseball club has been known as a young baseball team all season long. And any chance the North Stars had to reach this week’s Class A state tournament was going to be a tough one.
Still, the North Stars left the Northern District Tournament this weekend in Vauxhall with their heads held high, as they played solid baseball in a 1-2 showing.
After losing their tourney opener Thursday afternoon, the North Stars kept their season alive with a win over the Tri-County Cardinals Friday. However, the powerful Great Falls Electrics promptly ended Havre’s season with a 14-4 win in seven innings on Saturday.
Against the Electrics, Havre was able to score two runs in the first two innings, but it just wasn’t enough to slow the Electrics and star pitcher Quest Fellows down. Fellows allowed just seven hits and four runs on his way to a complete-game win, while the Electrics exploded offensively in the second inning. With the game tied 1-1, Great Falls busted out for seven runs off Havre pitcher Gavin Gunderson, and took a commanding 8-1 lead. Havre chipped away with another run in the third inning, but the Electrics scored three more in their half of the third to lead 11-2, and that was more than enough for Fellows from there.
In their final game of the season, the North Stars got a 2-for-3 performance from Travis Roth, while Thurman Holdsclaw, playing in his final legion game, had a double. Jase Kato went 2-for-4, while he, Holdsclaw and Gunderson all drove in runs.
As difficult as it was to see their season come to an end Saturday, the North Stars’ bright spot in Vauxhall came Friday morning. With their backs against the wall, the North Stars jumped out to an early lead on rival Tri-County en route to a 6-3, elimination-game win.
Tyrell Pierce pitched a brilliant, complete-game gem, allowing nine hits, but only three runs. Havre also played very well defensively, and the North Stars’ bats were awake right away.
Havre scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning, and added two more in the second to lead 6-0. From there, Tri-County pitchers Tristan Tubs and Clark Judisch shut the North Stars down, but Pierce and the Havre defense also kept the Cardinals at bay on the other end.
Roth and Ryne Antley led the way for Havre with three hits each. Antley also drove in three runs and had a triple, as did first baseman David Denny.
North Stars 6, Cardinals 3, lo
Tri-County 000 010 011 — 3 9 2
Havre 420 000 00X — 6 7 2
Tristan Tubs, Clark Judisch amd Josh Ashworth. Tyrell Pierce and Thurman Holdsclaw. W-Pierce. L- Tubs.
Tri-County leaders — Kyle Wanner 2-4, Ryan Clark 2-4, Tyler Tharp 2-4.
Havre leaders — Travis Roth 3-5, David Denny 1-3 (3B), 3 rbi, Ryne Antley 3-4 (3B), 2 rbi.
Electrics 14, North Stars 4 (7)
Havre 101 101 0 — 4 7 4
Great Falls 173 030 X — 14 11 3
Gavin Gunderson and Thurman Holdsclaw. Quest Fellows and Joe Maney. W-Fellows. L-Gunderson
Havre hitting — Travis Roth 2-3, Thurman Holdsclaw 1-2, Gavin Gunderson 1-4, Ryne Antley 0-2, Chris Vukasin 0-2, Chase Pitkanen 0-1, Jase Kato 2-4, Spencer Ross 0-3, Deion Hammet 0-3, Kyle Gooch 0-1, Tyrell Pierce 1-4.
Great Falls hitting — Blake Nicholson 1-4, Matt Garcia 1-4, Gabe Kuntz 2-4, Erik Willis 2-4, Dawson Reiman 1-4, Joe Maney 0-1, Marc Judice 1-3, Dallas Farren 1-3, Devin Brown 2-4, Jake Lowery 0-0.
2B—Holdsclaw, Garcia, Kuntz, Willis. 3B—Willis. RBI—Holdsclaw, Gunderson, Kato, Nicholson, Garcia, Kuntz 2, Willis 3, Reiman, Brown.