By Greg Price
The Vauxhall Spurs’ competition this past week was Thunderstruck, as the baseball team bashed its way offensively to two sweeps in American Legion ‘A’ competition.
The Spurs made their way to Montana on Sunday and made the Havre North Stars see stars by bludgeoning them to 21-4 (mercy rule) and 18-12 victories.
The North Stars were begging for mercy the first game as Vance Fode launched four home runs in the contest on the way to a 4-for-5 performance at the plate with seven RBI, along with Ryan Marshall also going yard.
“He wasn’t missing many balls. He was locked in,” said Joel Blake, head coach of the Vauxhall Spurs. “We had 40 hits and 40 runs on the day, we were swinging the bat well. Both games, everyone got a hit in the order. I preach being aggressive early in the count and we definitely came ready to hit.”
Earlier the Spurs beat the Tri-County Cardinals 13-0 (mercy rule) and 13-4 at Jets Stadium last Wednesday, with K.J. Moreno tossing the shutout on the mound the first game to aid his bash brothers in the offensive onslaught.
The team has pushed its record to an impressive 17-5 and while the Spurs have showed how immensely talented they can be as a threat at districts and a possible State berth later this summer, Blake has been preaching a full-game killer instinct where the Spurs have raced out to big leads only to allow the opposition to chip away at times to eventual losses.
“On the day offensively (on Sunday), I think there was only one inning we put up a zero. So we kept the pressure on consistently,” said Blake.
The Spurs were supposed to also play the Havre North Stars at home last Thursday, but those games were washed out from a huge downpour. Those games have been rescheduled for July 15, with the doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. at Jets Stadium.
This weekend, the Spurs are at a tournament in Kalispell, Mont.
“The competition is usually pretty good. We traditionally haven’t played well there, so we just need to play a little better and take care of business.,” said Blake. “It’s an opportunity for us to get some of our low-on-the-totem-pole guys into the game and give them some starts with game experience, but I do expect us to play hard and it would be nice for us to win that tournament.”
It is the start of a huge Montana road trip as the team is in Lewistown next Wednesday for a doubleheader followed by a Great Falls doubleheader on July 14. There are the rescheduled games on July 15 against the Havre North Stars and then July 17 will see a doubleheader against Tri-County.