Comets, Northstars battle each other, weather
It's never easy playing someone you aren't supposed to beat; it's even tougher when that someone shares the same practice field as you.
Such is for the life for the Havre Comets as they face the Havre Northstars tonight at 7 p.m. at Legion Field.
The game, which will count in the Northern division standings, is one that is difficult for both the Havre teams in many ways.
For Comets coach Bob Evans, the stigma of the Comets as the feeder team to the Northstars certainly weighs heavy on the minds of his players.
"It's always tough to play the Northstars because our kids don't have a ton of confidence against them," Evans said. "Because we are supposed to be their feeder team, it's harder to get pumped up to play them because we are supposed to lose."
Still Evans and his crew aren't about to simply lie down for their older cohorts. But the mentality going into this game for Evans isn't the same as a conference game in mid-July.
"It's still pretty early," Evans said. "I know it's a conference game but it really doesn't matter right now for what we're trying to do. I'm just trying to get everyone, especially my pitchers, ready for the season."
Consequently, Evans will start Bret Magelssen tonight, but will also try and use all of his pitchers, including Ben Erickson, Tony Christian, Chase Castloo and Jeff Tibbals. Trent Normandy will be the only pitcher not going after pitching three innings in a 12-2 win over Great Falls on Saturday.
"I'm going to try and pitch all of my pitchers two or three innings," Evans said. "And nothing more than 45-50 pitches."
Evans' philosophy concerning tonight's game is a little different than Northstars head coach Mickey Williams'. With the Northstars picked to be among the league's best teams, winning every conference game is critical, especially the games they are supposed to win.
Still, the Northstars are coming off their first game in more than a month and they are still trying to work their way into baseball shape.
Williams should have the majority of his players back for this game. Like Evans, Williams has a wealth of pitching to choose from. Only Brandon Morse and Ian Spencer pitched on Saturday, leaving a host of fresh arms ,including Tyler Thompson, Chazz Hurlburt, Corey Junck and Steve Heberly.
Perhaps the biggest concern of both teams will be the weather for tonight's game. As of press time, Legion Field had two good sized puddles on the infield. While removing the water and getting the field ready shouldn't be a problem, the forecasted showers would be too much for an already saturated playing surface.
Williams, who maintains the fields, believes the surface should be ready to go at 7 p.m.