By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The Havre Comets swept a twin bill from the Hi-Line Mustangs at Legion Field on Monday, so Havre fans can store the broom back in the closet.
The Comets spanked the Mustangs 13-3 in the first game of the doubleheader. The game was called in the sixth inning on the 10-run rule.
We were pretty intense that first game, said head Comet coach Ryan Divish. We hit the ball pretty well.
The Comets scattered 10 hits and capitalized on seven Mustang errors to tear the game open.
In the first inning, with two men on who had been hit by a pitch, David Knight knocked a double into the left field gap and scored one run. After a walk, facing the bases loaded, Chris Klobofski hit a grounder into left field and collected an RBI.
Kyle Sheppard followed suit by collecting an RBI as he hit a sacrifice fly to right field. Garrett Hanson was struck by another pitch to get on base.
Then T.J. Luke sliced a drive into short center field to collect another RBI and increased the Comet lead 4-1.
Wild pitches and overthrown balls etched the fourth inning for Malta. The Comets tallied seven runs in the bottom of the inning on only two hits. There were five Mustang errors.
It was all over for the Mustangs in the sixth inning when, with two men on and no outs, Knight drove a ball into center field to score the game-ending run.
Lance Haser, the Mustang second baseman, finished the game with a double in the second and a triple in the fifth.
Although the game ended due to runs scored, Divish said pitching is the team strength right now.
Kyle [Sheppard] had nine strike outs and no walks. Thats pretty impressive, he said.
Although the first game was called early, it appeared that the second would go extra innings before the Comets rallied to score the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh.
I told the guys just because we win the first one doesnt mean that we can sit back on our heels in the second, Divish said.
Errors plagued the Comets in the first inning as the Mustangs scored three runs.
Lance Hasers bat was still hot as he collected the only hit in the inning. The Comets committed two errors.
The Comets answered in the bottom of the second inning with a single by Jay Rucinsky and a double by Jesse Suek to narrow the score 3-2.
The fifth inning proved to be strong offensively for both teams. Malta collected three doubles in a row and two RBIs to open the inning.
Then Jake Yates singled and collected an RBI, the Comets changed pitchers and Adam DeMers smacked a single. Nick Newell pitched a strike out and a ground out to end the side.
Havre answered with three runs of their own. Opening the side with two outs, Malta then committed two errors that allowed runners on base. Suek hit another double into a right field hole and knocked in two runs. Sean Williams copied and hit a single to the same spot, sending Suek home. However, the Comets trailed 7-6.
Heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, three sevens glared from the bottom of the scoreboard. The Mustangs were held runless through the sixth and seventh innings.
The Comets Rucinsky opened the side with a right field double. Suek struck out. Rucinsky waited on second. Sean Williams, on a 3-2 pitch, struck out. Rucinsky stole third. Then, with two outs, on a 3-1 pitch, Sheppard walked to first.
Jared Boyce stepped to the plate. With runners on first and third, the game tied, Mustang pitcher Jake Yates chinked a pitch off the top of catcher Seth Taylors glove. Rucinsky trotted into home, sealing the Comet win 8-7.
We play small ball, Divish said. Lots of bunts and walks. But our goal is to continually improve through district tournament.
The Comets travel to Great Falls on Wednesday.