Cardinals sweep Northstars under the lights
Havre comes up short in comeback bids against Tri-County at home
Last updated 6/17/2020 at 8:11am
After a tough weekend in the Gallatin Valley Tournament last week, the Havre Northstars American Legion baseball club was looking for some more luck at home to pull away with some wins, which are crucial to gain as early as possible, but unfortunately, a familiar conference opponent had different plans to spoil the home series.
The Tri-County Cardinals have been a tough Class A North District team to face in recent years and they kept that trend going this year, beating the Northstars at Legion Field Wednesday night by 10-7 in the first game and 8-4 in the second game, claiming the doubleheader for their own in what was an emotional time for the Cardinals.
When it came to the doubleheader, Havre head coach Patch Wirtzberger saw a lot of ups and downs against Tri-County.
"I thought we got good innings from our pitchers," Wirtzberger said. "For the most part, they kept it around their zone and made Tri-County hit it. Credit to them, they got a lot of hits and put the pressure on our defense. We made their job pretty easy with errors and we know we need to make more plays, but once they start to make plays, the wins are going to start taking care of themselves."
In the first inning, the Cardinals started off strong with Tony Daley singling on a 3-2 count to score two runs, followed by four runs in the third inning, where an error led to scores by Brinkley Evans, Braedon Hutton and Caden Huntsinger. As the game went on, Tri-County would have a 10-1 lead going into the bottom of the sixth.
At that moment, the Northstars pushed forward and put up six runs in the sixth with singles by Eli Cloninger, Trenton Maloughney, Jeremiah Benson, Tavish Mclean and a dropped fly on a hit by Quinn Reno to get closer. After the Havre defense held the Cardinals to no more runs in the game, the Northstars tried to come back and win, but only managed to put up one more run in the bottom of the seventh and was not able to pull off the come-from-behind win.
Even so, Wirtzberger was glad to see his team put up a great inning in the bottom of the sixth in the first game.
"I had been telling our guys from the beginning of the game that if we get to their bullpen, we're going to have a really good chance to win the game," Wirtzberger said. "That's what happened. Their pitcher ran out of pitches and they had to go to the bullpen, so we started to knock the reliever around for a little bit for a big rally. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough, we just dug too deep of a hole in the beginning to come out of it, but there's a lot of fight in these guys and that's really good to see."
Daley opened up game two for the Cardinals once again, putting in one when he singled, with two more runs coming afterwards. Havre answered with three runs in the bottom of the second inning with Reno and Cloninger putting up great RBIs. But, Tri-County pulled away after scoring one run in each inning afterwards, snagging the win away from the Northstars and winning the conference doubleheader at Legion Field.
At the end of the night, Wirtzberger did find a great strength that has been consistent with his team since day one, despite the losses that have plagued Havre early in the season so far.
"Our effort is a big strength," Wirtzberger said. "These guys give tremendous effort every single time and that's something they work really hard on. If we cut down on the mistakes and don't beat ourselves, we'll get going in the right direction."
At the end of the night, there were some Northstars that put in good work. In the first game, Maloughney and Cloninger both had multiple hits for Havre, with Maloughney leading with three hits in three at bats. In game two, Reno led the Northstars with two hits in four at bats.
The upcoming weekend will bring about even more tough trials for Havre, as they will Gillette Rustlers at 1 p.m. and the Gallatin Valley Outlaws at 3:30 p.m. on Friday and then the Glasgow Reds at 1:30 p.m. and the Livingston Braves at 4 p.m. on Sunday. All games will take place in Lewistown.
Tri-County 10, Havre 7
Tri-County 2 0 4 3 0 1 0 – 10 10 3
Havre 000 1 0 6 0 – 7 7 6
WP – Caden Huntsinger
LP – Carson Lunak
Havre batting – Quinn Reno 0-3, Brody Nanini 0-3, Trenton Maloughney 3-3, Ethan Carlson 0-4, Tyrel Kjersem 0-4, Caden Jenkins 1-2, Jeremiah Benson 1-3, Tavish Mclean 0-2, Eli Cloninger 2-4.
Tri-County 8, Havre 4
Tri-County 3 0 1 1 1 1 1 – 8 10 3
Havre 0 3 00 1 00 – 4 5 6
WP – Tony Daley
LP – Tyrel Kjersem
Havre batting – Quinn Reno 2-4, Tyrel Kjersem 0-3, Kale Reno 0-1, Trenton Maloughney 1-4, Ethan Carlson 1-3, Caden Jenkins 0-3, Julian Benson 0-2, Jeremiah Benson 0-3, Carson Lunak 0-3, Eli Cloninger 1-3.