Northstars finish first home stand of season


Last updated 5/1/2023 at 8:04am

Havre Daily News/Kason Clark

Havre's Kale Reno bats against the Billings Expos at Legion Field on Saturday. In their first home stand of the season, the Northstars went 3-1 to improve their record to 4-4 early in the season.

This past weekend at Legion Field, the Havre Northstars American Legion baseball club competed in their first four home games of the season. The Northstars started the weekend strong with three wins against the Billings Expos AA team. However, they ended the weekend with a 9-6 loss to the Kalispell Lakers A team. While the Northstars went 3-1, Havre head coach Patch Wirtzberger believes they could have played better.

"We were inconsistent. There were a lot of really good things and a lot of things we know we need to improve on," Wirtzberger said. "I would say inconsistency was the theme of the weekend."

The Northstars defeated Billings, 5-0, Saturday afternoon to start the weekend. They wasted no time as they took momentum in the bottom of the first. After a single from Drake Berreth, Brody Nanini hit a home run to left field to make it a 2-0 game. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Jevin Jenkins scored on a sacrifice fly to push the lead to 3-0.

Over the next few innings, both teams struggled to get going on offense. Havre put an end to it in the bottom of the fourth with an RBI single from Logan Kinsella. Then in the bottom of the fifth, a bases-loaded walk pushed the lead to 5-0.

The Northstars held Billings scoreless the rest of the way to secure the win. At the plate, Nanini led the way going 3-4 with a pair of RBIs for the Northstars. Kale Reno picked up the win pitching for Havre as he allowed two hits, no runs and four walks and recorded eight strikeouts in 6.2 innings pitched. In his home debut, Reno did not want to disappoint the fans.

"I just knew I had to come out here and do my job in the first home game," Reno said. "It just feels great to me because we're back at home at the best field that I've ever played on in Montana."

Later on Saturday, the Northstars continued to roll with an 11-1 win over Billings. After Billings took the lead in the top of the first, Havre took momentum in the bottom of the first. Reno tied the game when he scored on a passed ball. Nanini then scored on a wild pitch to give Havre a 2-1 lead.

The Northstars kept pushing it in the bottom of the second. Colter Solomon added onto the lead when he stole home base. Reno then drove in another run with a double to left field to make it a 4-1 game.

In the bottom of the third, the Northstars took advantage of multiple Billings mistakes. With the bases loaded, Jenkins scored on a passed ball. Eza Pyle scored on another passed ball to make it 6-1. Another passed ball resulted in Tommy Lewis scoring for Havre. Quinn Elliot made it 9-1 when he scored on a wild pitch.

Heading into the bottom of the fifth, the Northstars had a chance to end the game early. After loading the bases, Lane Kinsella drove in a run with a single. Pyle then drove in another run with a single to make it 11-1 to end the game early in five innings.

On the mound, Terek Shipp picked up the win as he allowed six hits and one earned run and recorded six strikeouts. At the plate, Reno went 3-3 with two RBIs. Solomon went 2-3 for the Northstars. In their second game of the day, Wirtzberger liked the Northstars' approach at the plate.

"I think we competed through at bats. Got deep in counts and had some good two strike hits," Wirtzberger said. "We worked some counts where we got some walks and took advantage of some mistakes but I think the guys just came out really locked in and focused and didn't miss their pitch."

On Sunday morning, the Northstars had their troubles but pulled out a 6-5 win over the Billings Expos. The Northstars started strong, getting two runners on base in the bottom of the first. Shipp then hit a single to right field to drive in a run for the lead. Nanini and Shipp then scored on an error to push the lead to 3-0.

But the Expos responded in the top of the third. After getting two men on, a single cleared the bases for the Expos. A sacrifice fly then drove in another run to tie the game 3-3. A Havre error then allowed another runner to score to give Billings a 4-3 lead.

The Northstars responded in the bottom of the fourth. After getting on base, Shipp scored on a wild pitch to tie the game again. Then in the bottom of the sixth, the Northstars took the lead when Pyle scored on a passed ball. Lane then stole home to add onto the lead. After falling behind, Wirtzberger liked how they responded.

"We just stayed focused and relaxed at the plate and took advantage of their mistakes," Wirtzberger said. "Guys ran the bases well and executed the offense enough times to come away with e victory there."

The Expos scored in the top of the seventh, but the Northstars held on to win the game. Lane won the game at pitcher as he allowed three earned runs and six hits and he recorded three strikeouts. At the plate, Shipp led the way going 2-3 with an RBI.

The Northstars' weekend came to an end with a 9-6 loss to the Kalispell Lakers Sunday afternoon. In the top of the second, Kalispell got rolling to take a 4-0 lead. In the bottom of the fourth, Havre responded when Tanner Delarosa scored on a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 4-1.

The Lakers got rolling again in the top of the fifth to push their lead to 6-1. As the Lakers got rolling, Wirtzberger believes the Northstars did not match them to start the game.

"They really came out swinging the bat really well and we didn't," Wirtzberger said. "We had a couple tough innings where we couldn't get anything going. We left runners on base, made some mistakes on the base paths and we let them get out in front."

But the Northstars finally got rolling in the bottom of the fifth. After three straight singles to open the inning, Pyle drove in a run with a single. A bases-loaded walk then brought in another run to make it a 6-3 game. Conner McKay then scored on a fielder's choice to further cut into the deficit. Chason Mader then hit a double to left field to drive in a pair of runs to tie the game 6-6.

However, the Northstars could not hang onto momentum. In the top of the seventh, the Lakers scored several runs to take a 9-6 lead. The Lakers then recorded three outs in the bottom of the seventh to hand the Northstars the loss.

At the end of the weekend, the Northstars stand at 4-4 on the season. As they move forward with the rest of the year, Wirtzberger hopes that the Northstars can continue to improve.

"Consistency is going to be the name of the game going forward," Wirtzberger said. "I think this is a really talented group that I'm really excited about and they'll go to work and hopefully we can keep on getting better together."

The Havre Northstars will next play the Great Falls Chargers A team in a doubleheader this Saturday starting at 3 p.m. at Legion Field.

Havre 5, Billings 0

BIL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 2 1

HAV 3 0 0 1 1 0 X - 5 7 0

WP - Kale Reno

LP - E. Bowmack

Havre Batting - Kale Reno 0-2, Drake Berreth 1-4, Brody Nanini 3-4, Jevin Jenkins 0-2, Terek Shipp 1-2, Colter Solomon 0-2, Tyson Brandon 1-1, Tanner Delarosa 0-1, Logan Kinsella 1-3.

Havre 11, Billings 1

BIL 1 0 0 0 0 X X - 1 6 1

HAV 2 2 5 0 2 X X - 11 8 0

WP - Terek Shipp

LP - N. Martin

Havre Batting - Kale Reno 3-3, Drake Berreth 0-2, Logan Kinsella 1-1, Brody Nanini 0-2, Lane Kinsella 1-1, Jevin Jenkins 0-2, Ezra Pyle 1-1, Tommy Lewis 0-1, Colter Solomon 2-3, Chason Mader 0-1, Quinn Elliot 0-0.

Havre 6, Billings 5

BIL 0 0 4 0 0 0 1 - 5 9 1

HAV 3 0 0 1 0 2 X - 6 7 2

WP - Lane Kinsella

LP - R. Fisher

Havre Batting - Kale Reno 1-3, Drake Berreth 0-3, Brody Nanini 1-2, Terek Shipp 2-3, Ezra Pyle 2-2, Tommy Lewis 0-2, Jevin Jenkins 0-0, Tyson Brandon 0-2, Conner McKay 1-1, Colter Solomon 0-1.

Kalispell 9, Havre 6

KAL 0 4 0 0 2 0 3 - 9 11 0

HAV 0 0 0 1 5 0 0 - 6 9 0

Havre Daily News/Kason Clark

WP - #9

LP - Colter Solomon

Havre Batting - Kale Reno 0-3, Drake Berreth 2-4, Brody Nanini 1-4, Conner McKay 1-3, Ezra Pyle 1-4, Tanner Delarosa 1-3, Logan Kinsella 2-4, Chason Mader 1-2, Quinn Elliot 0-2.


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