On a picture perfect weekend, youth baseball players from around the state converged on of the Sixth Avenue Memorial Field in Havre for the U12 Cal Ripken East Montana State tournament.
Eight teams competed for two spots in the Pacific Northwest Regional.
After an impressive 3-0 record in group play on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the Havre U12 team found itself on the doorstep of regionals. The only thing standing in its way was a win in the semifinals over Glendive.
However, Glendive had something else in mind and punched its ticket into the championship game with a 10-6 victory over Havre.
“I thought we played really well and showed a lot of heart,” Havre head coach Darin Miller said. “That’s the tough thing about single elimination, you have one bad game and you’re out. But our kids played well and they played their hearts out, it just wasn’t meant to be.”
After a scoreless first inning, Glendive got a run in the second to take a 1-0 lead, then Matt Dufner tripled to bring in a run and later scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0. Havre responded in the bottom half of the inning, getting a two-run double by Quinn Springer and a RBI single by Leyton Shennum to tie the game at 3-3.
Despite their efforts, Havre fell behind again thanks to a two-run home run by Glendive’s Clay Mattern, leading to a three-run fourth and a 6-3 advantage. Havre pulled closer at 6-4 but four runs in the top of fifth gave Glendive a 10-4 lead it would not relinquish.
Reno led the way for Havre, going 2-for-3 with an RBI, a run scored and a walk. Springer and Jacob Miller each had a hit and two RBI’s. Tanner Parsons was the losing pitcher after allowing two runs on three hits in two innings.
Mattern was one of the top performers for Glendive, going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI’s. Tel Lunde also racked up two hits and two RBI’s, while Lunde earned the win after giving up just one hit in two plus innings and striking out three.
During the preliminary round of the tournament, Havre got four hits and a home run from Reno en route to a 10-6 defeat of Miles City.
On Friday against Big Muddy, Havre jumped out to an early 5-1 lead, following a five-run fifth and won easily 8-3. Reno and Parsons led the way with two RBI’s apiece.
Thursday, Havre opened the tournament by crushing Border 11-1 thanks to an onslaught of 10 runs in the first three innings. Parsons had two hits and three RBI’s, while Shennum held the Border offense at bay, giving up one run on two hits and striking out six as the winning pitcher.
Havre's Ethan Werk fires a pitch during this weekend's Cal Ripken 12U Montana East state baseball tournament at the Sixth Avenue Memorial Field. The Havre Stars went 3-1 at the state tournament and finished third overall.
Glendive 10, Havre 6
Glendive 012 340 – 10 7 0
Havre 003 102 – 6 8 7
WP – Tel Lunde, LP – Tanner Parsons
Glendive – Clay Mattern 2-4 (2 RBI), Tel Lunde 2-3 (2 RBI), Matt Dufner 1-4 (RBI), Talon Hoffer 0-3, Eli Burk 0-4, Trenton Reinhart 0-3, Ethan Carney 0-3, Izaak Huntncovsky 1-2 (RBI), Jeremiah Pulse 0-2, Kirby Basta 1-3.
Havre – Tyrel Kjersem 1-3, Caleb Allestad 0-2, Quinn Reno 2-3 (RBI), Tanner Parsons 0-4, Jacob Miller 1-2 (2RBI), Quinn Springer 1-2 (2 RBI), Cameron Pleninger 0-0, Eli Cloninger 1-4, Bridgers Staples 1-1, Leyton Shennum 1-3 (RBI).