Pitching was the story of the day once again at Ferndale, and Caleb Ruiz was the biggest story of all.
Ruiz, St. Bernard’s only senior this season, pitched another gem on the mound, holding the Wildcat bats to just two hits in the second game of a doubleheader, while driving in the winning run to break the deadlock in the eighth inning and give his team a 1-0 win.
Landon Gomes was just as effective for the Cats, pitching brilliantly in the loss, having also driven home the winning run for his side in a 3-2 matchup earlier in the day.
“It was just another classic Ruiz/Gomes matchup,” St. Bernard’s head coach Matt Tomlin said. “They’re two of the top baseball players in Humboldt County, and both were amazing today. It’s really a shame either of them had to lose.”
Ferndale head coach Justin Andersen echoed the sentiment.
“All the pitchers threw well, for both teams,” he said.
Both Gomes and Ruiz were pulled after 7.2 innings because of pitch counts.
Ruiz also struck out 15 in the win.
Freshman Braeden Zimmerman led off the top of the eighth by reaching base on an error and stole his way to second, scoring a few minutes later on Ruiz’s base hit.
Hunter Davis had the only other base hit for the Crusaders, while Shaun Leonardo and Austin Hughes had the only two hits for Ferndale.
Hughes pitched the win in the opener, allowing three hits and striking out five.
Gomes was 2-for-3 with a big two-RBI hit that would prove to be the winner in the fourth inning.
Jenner Christiansen also had a big game, finishing 2-for-2 and scored two of his team’s three runs, while Leonardo was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run.
Bode Joyner took the loss for the Crusaders, who never really got going.
“We just didn’t have any rhythm in the game,” Tomlin said.
Neither team had an error in the opener, with just one each in the nightcap.
Logan Petrusha got the save for the Crusaders in relief of Ruiz in game two.
Ruiz has now allowed just four hits combined in his past three starts.
St. Bernard’s is now 6-2 in the Little 4 and 13-5 overall, while Ferndale is now 4-4 and 6-9.
Hoopa 0, South Fork 10, 5 innings
Hoopa 0, South Fork 10, 6 innings
The Cubs climbed back into a tie for the lead in the Little 4, with two comfortable wins over winless Hoopa.
With the sweep, the Cubs improved to 6-2 in the Little 4 and 10-3 overall.
“We played good,” South Fork head coach Corky Coffelt said. “We played good defense again, and all the kids are starting to put the bat on the ball.”
Seniors CJ Van Meter and Cooper Scott each pitched a complete game for the win, with the latter also enjoying a stellar day on offense.
Scott led the way at the plate, finishing 7-for-8 with seven stolen bases over the two games, while Cody Wyatt was 3-for-3 with three stolen bases in the opener, and had four hits on the day.
Kaydon Pogue also had four hits over the two games, going 3-for-4 in the nightcap.
Van Meter added three hits over the two games, while Sean Hassall-Hoss and Graham McConnell each also had a hit in the second game.
“In the second game we started a bunch of younger kids and they did alright,” the head coach said. “We’re starting to come along.”
The Cubs showed some consistency at the plate, striking out just five times all day.
Hoopa dropped to 0-8 in the Little 4 and 0-11 overall.