By Ray Hamill — The Humboldt Eagles 19U have plenty of quality depth on their roster this season and they’re going to need it next week.
The local all-county American Legion team hits the road on Saturday morning for a three-state trip that will see them play 13 games in nine days.
And it won’t be easy, with some quality opponents on tap, including a two-game stand on Monday and Tuesday of next week at the Reno Muckdogs of Reno, one of the premier 19U Legion teams in the nation.
The Eagles will also play Galena in Reno, as well as Klamath Falls, Medford and Rosenberg in Oregon, with additional games at Red Bluff and Lassen along the way.
With a deep all-star lineup of their own, however, the Eagles should be up for the challenge.
“We’re going to be playing some of the best teams in the area,” head coach Matt Tomlin said. “But we want to play the best teams possible.”
The Eagles, a true all-county team, are particularly deep in the infield and on the mound.
“We’re just loaded with top-notch infielders,” Tomlin said. “We have 12 quality infielders, and we’re just loaded with starting pitching, and we’ll be tested on this road trip.”
Cody Emmons has been leading the way on a team of leaders, and has been arguably the team’s most consistent threat through the opening two weeks both in the middle infield and as leadoff hitter.
Emmons is one of five 19-year-old freshmen college players on the team, along with Garrison Finck, JB Lewis, Scott Coffelt and Gannon Cyphers, all of whom have played a substantial role in setting the tone.
And in large part because of that, any egos on a deep and talented roster of all-stars vying for playing time has not been a concern.
“We have great team chemistry and that’s really because of the leadership we have with our five 19-year-olds,” Tomlin said. “These are guys that are all about the team.”
Another real bright spot for the team, according to the coach, has been the play of outgoing Eureka High senior Kalebh Hill, who has grown in stature this year and has carried his impressive play in the spring for the Loggers seamlessly into the summer season.
Hill has been dominant on the mound where he has thrown 5.2 scoreless innings, as well as at catcher and in right field.
The Eagles get their big road trip under way at Red Bluff on Saturday evening, and will play Galena in Reno on Sunday.