Star Power: North Stars thump Senators
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The Havre American Legion baseball team was roughed up in its last outing of a long weekend.
But like they have done so many times already this season, the North Stars showed some resiliency, starting another long week off with a solid 12-8 win over the Helena Senators Tuesday afternoon at Legion Field in Havre.
After going 2-3 in their own tournament last weekend, the North Stars are embarking on another six games in four days this week, and they got off on the right foot in a non-league Class A game on Tuesday.
Havre sent young left-hander Spencer Morkrid to the mound on Tuesday, and he delivered.
Morkrid kept the Helena bats at bay, allowing just three hits and two earned runs in four and two-thirds innings of work in the nine-inning affair.
Morkrid picked up the win, while Justin Jensen went the rest of the way on the mound.
But while pitching was solid, the North Star bats did plenty of damage of their own.
The North Stars racked up 15 hits on the day and scored at least one run in each of the first five innings.
The North Stars got on the board quickly, scoring three times in the first inning. Brayden Grimson, who's been scorching hot at the plate for the North Stars, led off the game with a single before Kyle Miller drove him in with one of his two doubles on the day. Miller scored on a CJ Evans single, and Evans was plated later in the inning, giving Morkrid an early 3-0 cushion to work with.
Havre stayed hot throughout the game, harassing Helena pitchers Jesse Swartz and Cody Carroll.
After scoring another run in the second inning, the North Stars tacked on three more in the bottom of the third. Brandon Smith, Evans and Mark Vukasin all singled and scored in the inning, giving Havre a 7-1 lead after three innings.
The North Stars upped that lead to 9-1 in the fourth as Jensen and Miller each singled and were drove in by Smith and Evans. Miller would come through again in the eighth with yet another double, this time pounding the ball right off the 375 sign in the left field gap. The shot off the wall plated Jensen and Evans drove Miller in with a single to give Havre an insurmountable 12-3 lead.
The Senators would make it interesting for a time, scoring five runs in the ninth, three of which were unearned due to Havre errors, but Jensen was eventually able to close the door and send Havre on the road with an important victory.
Grimson, Evans and Miller were all 3-for-5 on the day and combined to drive in seven runs. All three have been swinging hot bats for the North Stars as of late. Jensen was 2-for-5 and Roman Surber was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Smith and Vukasin also had hits during the Havre barrage.
With the win, the North Stars improved to 11-9 on the season, and they will be in Great Falls today for a pair of Northern District games against the Great Falls Electrics at Centene Stadium.