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Cardinals sweep Havre in regular season finale

 

Last updated 7/26/2020 at 9:26pm

After what looked to be a rallying series of games that would give the Havre Northstars American Legion baseball club a good position going into the Northern A District Tournament, things went south as the Northstars were plagued with a series of road games that did not go as Havre had hoped, including the season closer on the road against the Tri-County Cardinals to end the regular season.

It has been tough as of late for the Northstars when it comes to road games and the Cardinals showed Havre no mercy, as Tri-County swept the Northstars in Conrad Saturday afternoon, with game one going to the Cardinals 3-1 and game two seeing Havre fall 9-3, handing the Northstars an overall 16-28 record to end the regular season.

And at the end of the day, Havre head coach Patch Wirtzberger was a bit pained about the loss that closed the regular season off on a sour note.

"It was not the way we wanted to finish," Wirtzberger said. "We didn't play very well in any phase on Saturday, but you got to give it to Tri-County. They played a great ballgame to get the win. It's just not the way we wanted to end our regular season."

Game one of the doubleheader was close down to the tee. The first two innings of the game did not see either team score a run, but in the top of the third, the Northstars had a runner make it home, while in the bottom of the third, the Cardinals jumped into the lead with two runs, putting them up 2-1 over Havre.

The fourth and fifth innings saw no runners score, as well, but Tri-County took an opportunity to stay ahead in the sixth inning, where a Cardinal found home-plate. From there, the Northstars tried to use the seventh inning to come back and take the lead, but the Tri-County defense kept them at bay to seal the first game of the day.

It was a tough day against the Cardinals, but Wirtzberger still saw a strength that his team had in the doubleheader.

"I thought our pitchers did well enough to put us in spots to win," Wirtzberger said. "If there's one thing that we did well, I thought it was our pitchers being able to get the ball across the plate."

Havre's luck would not fair better in the second game, but things did start off well for the Northstars, as after the Cardinals put up a run in the first inning, Havre responded by scoring two runs in the second inning to take the lead early. That did not last for long, though, as Tri-County not only tied the game in the bottom of the second, but then used the third and fourth innings to jump into a 6-2 lead, with two runs being scored in each inning.

Once again, the Northstars had to try and come from behind to have a chance of splitting the doubleheader, but Havre could not find any traction to drive forward, only scoring one run in the seventh inning, while the Cardinals used the previous inning to seal the game with three runs, shattering any hopes of a comeback for the Northstars.

There were some good performances for the Northstars, though. In game one, Quinn Reno had a perfect three hits at three at-bats, while in game two, Tarek Shipp had a perfect one hit at one at-bats.

There will be a bit of an impact on Havre's standings in the Class A North District, but Wirtzberger knows that if his team does things right, those standings will not matter at the Northern A District Tournament.

"There's kind of an impact," Wirtzberger said. "We're going to be the No. 2 or No. 3 seed no matter what happens. Tri-County and Great Falls are playing to see who will be the No. 4 seed, so we could end up playing either one of those teams depending on what happens. But if we had won a game on Saturday, we would have definitely been the No. 2 seed, but we're going to be playing either one of them no matter what."

And with that, the first leg of the postseason is here for the Northstars (16-28), as they head to Great Falls to play at Centene Stadium for the Northern A District Tournament Wednesday and Thursday, where they look to punch their ticket to the Class A State Tournament. Havre will face off against either the Great Falls Lightning or the Tri-County Cardinals Wednesday for its first game of the tournament.

Tri-County 3, Havre 1

Tri-County 00 2 00 1 X – 3 7 1

Havre 00 1 0000 – 1 6 1

WP – Kyler Crabtree

LP – Julian Benson

Havre batting – Quinn Reno 3-3, Tavish Mclean 1-2, Tyrel Kjersem 0-4, Caden Jenkins 1-3, Ethan Carlson 0-3, Trenton Maloughney 0-2, Eli Cloninger 0-3, Carson Lunak 1-2, Drake Berreth 0-2.

Tri-County 9, Havre 3

Tri-County 1 1 2 2 0 3 X – 9 14 1

Havre 0 2 0000 1 – 3 6 2

WP – Kolby Kovatch

LP – Tyrel Kjersem

Havre batting – Quinn Reno 0-3, Conner McKay 0-1, Tavish Mclean 0-2, Tyrel Kjersem 1-3, Caden Jenkins 1-4, Trenton Maloughney 1-3, Eli Cloninger 1-2, Carson Lunak 1-3, Julian Benson 0-2, Theron Peterson 0-1, Tarek Shipp 1-1.

 
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