UPDATE ON THURSDAY NIGHT — Friday’s game has been canceled
By Ray Hamill — The Fortuna Huskies were hoping to get in one more game on the baseball field on Friday afternoon before a looming shutdown, with plenty of rain on the way as well as the concerns over COVID-19.
But on Thursday night, their scheduled game with Middletown was canceled.
There is plenty of rain expected over the next two weeks, although any more games are unlikely to be played regardless, with a shutdown of all high school sports expected in the coming days due to the COVID-19.
“We want to play, but with the virus issue out there, if it’s in the best interest not to play then that’s what we’ll do,” Fortuna head coach Andrew Olsen said.
If they get a season in, the Huskies can expect to be a dangerous proposition for any of their Big 5 rivals, even if they might not be considered the league frontrunners.
The Huskies are young, with just two seniors and 10 juniors, but they have plenty of good athletes and plenty of experience despite their youth.
Olsen has nine returning players from last season, including several who saw a lot of game time.
“We’re young and we’re learning,” said Olsen, whose team has enjoyed a productive preseason and is 2-0 after sweeping a doubleheader at Lower Lake on Saturday. “We’ve been blessed with the amount of sunshine we’ve had and we’ve been outside since February 10. And they’re working hard.”
The Huskies also have depth and versatility this season.
“We’re a work in progress, but one through 15 on our roster, everybody’s got something they can contribute and they’re getting better,” said Olsen, who is in his second year as head coach of the team.
The coaches will rely on senior Daeden Taylor and juniors Regan Nyberg, Branson Gans and Wyatt Wilson to lead the way.
“Daeden is kind of a leader by example type guy,” Olsen said of the team’s lead-off hitter, who also started at quarterback for the school’s football team. “He’s not real vocal, but he’s someone the kids look up to.”
Gans will likely be the No. 1 pitcher and will get the nod for Friday’s game after being the opening day starter at Lower Lake.
“He’s definitely our hardest thrower,” Olsen said of Gans, who also has a big presence at the plate, batting above .300 a year ago
Wilson will give the Huskies another solid option on the hill and has continued to improve his game.
“We’re expecting him to have a really good year,” Olsen said of the junior, who displayed good control in his season opener at Lower Lake, striking out six and walking just one batter.
Wilson is also off to a good start at the plate.
Nyberg, meanwhile, will lead the infield at shortstop and is also expected to have a big season after showing plenty of promise a year ago.
He also got the season off to an impressive start at the plate last weekend.