Panthers top Fortuna, stay on track in Big 5

The McKinleyville Panthers scored early and made it count, holding on for a 4-0 win at Fortuna in Big 5 baseball on Thursday.

Junior Cameron Saso pitched a three-hit shutout for the win, as the Mack boys improved to 6-1 in conference play and remain well in the hunt for a first league title since 2007.

McKinleyville scored runs in each of the first three innings, as the Panthers racked up nine hits on the day.

Saso also led the way at the plate, finishing with two of his team’s hits, as did senior Isaac Puzz.

Corbin Eichin, Dustin Ireland, Lance Lally, T-Ryan Stumph and Regan Wolfe each also had a base hit, with Lally, Ireland, Stumph and Chase Fisher each driving in a run.

The win was the sixth of the season in seven appearances for Saso, who struck out 10 in a complete-game performance.

For the season, Saso leads the Panthers with a 0.91 ERA.

Saso is also batting .404 at the plate, second only on the team to Ireland (.462).

The Panthers, who have taken over top spot in the North Coast Section Division-IV rankings, are now 14-1 on the season.

For Fortuna, senior Caleb Crawley finished 1-for-3 with a double and pitched four innings, before being relieved by sophomore Wyatt Wilson who tossed three scoreless innings to close out the game.

The two pitchers combined to allow just one walk, with the Huskies committing just one error behind them.

Gabe Sandberg and Garrett Aust each also had a hit in the loss.

Fortuna dropped to 0-7 in the Big 5 and 3-12 overall.

McKinleyville and Fortuna play a doubleheader at Mack High on Saturday, with first pitch set for 11 a.m.

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