By Ray Hamill — Through the opening two days of the summer season, one thing is clear about this year’s Humboldt Eagles 19U American Legion baseball team.
They’ve come out ready to play.
On Saturday the Eagles swept their second doubleheader in two days to maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign, this time getting the better of a quality Sacramento Better Baseball team.
In addition to some outstanding pitching and solid defense, the Eagles also got a huge contribution form Ferndale’s Landon Gomes, who hit a game-changing two-RBI triple in the sixth inning of game two to break a 1-1 tie.
The Eagles would go on to win the game 3-2 after earlier winning 4-1.
“There was some very high level baseball played today,” Eagles head coach Matt Tomlin said. “It shows me that these guys, who are serious about playing baseball at this level, were finding ways to be ready to play.”
The performance was impressive in just about every aspect of the game.
Starting pitchers Nick Dugan and Merek Sears each looked solid in their season debuts, as did Hayden Bode and Bode Joyner in relief.
Defensively, the Eagles committed just one error on the day and turned an impressive 6-4-3 double play to get out of a jam in the top of the third inning of game two, while there were several big performances at the plate.
None, however, matched that of Gomes, who finished game two 2-for-3 with the triple and two RBIs, following Friday’s impressive opening day, when he also had three hits over the two games.
“That was a big-time clutch hit, and that was a very good (Sacramento) pitcher,” Eagles head coach Matt Tomlin said of the triple.
Tomlin was also more than happy with all four of his pitchers.
“It was just an outstanding day from our pitching staff as a whole,” he said.
Dugan, who will be a junior at St. Bernard’s next year and has already committed to play at Stanford after graduation, allowed just one hit in 4.1 shutout innings, while walking two and striking out five.
Bode, who also had a relief appearance on Friday, tossed 2.2 innings to close out the win, allowing one run on three hits and two walks, while striking out four.
“Hayden Bode was outstanding,” Tomlin said. “The coaching staff got together and we’ve kind of chosen Hayden to be our closer this summer. He’s a competitive kid and he came in and shut those guys down.”
Sears, who will join the Washington State team this fall, also impressed, allowing four hits and two walks in four innings in the nightcap, while striking out seven.
Joyner got the win in relief, allowing two hits and four walks, while striking out six.
More impressively, however, he got out of a jam in all three innings, with runners reaching third with less than two outs.
“Joyner was really clutch today,” Tomlin said.
At the plate numerous players stepped up.
In game one, Jaden Gorge led the way, finishing 3-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored, while Parker Rodgers continued his impressive start to the season, going 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run.
Fortuna’s Branson Gans also had a big game, with a pair of hits and a run, while Cameron Saso was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Joyner and Caleb Ruiz each also had a hit.
In game two, Ethan Fischel had a base hit and scored a run, while Ruiz and Lane Thrap each scored a run.
The Eagles continue a busy weekend with two more games against the Sacramento club on Sunday, with first pitch set for 10 a.m.
The games will be played at St. Bernard’s.