By Ray Hamill — The in-form Jaden Gorge drove in Zac Anderson to seal a walk-off win on Thursday afternoon, as the Humboldt Eagles 19U rallied to beat Team Australia 4-3 in the opening game of an American Legion baseball doubleheader at St. Bernard’s
Gorge, who has been one of the team’s most consistent threats at the plate through the early season, singled into shallow left field to score Anderson from second and break a 3-3 tie.
Anderson was pinch running for Hayden Bode, who led off the inning with a single, before advancing on a a Keenan Morris base hit.
The Eagles trailed 3-1 going into the bottom of the sixth, but rallied to score a pair of runs in the inning, with Gorge again instrumental.
The former Arcata High standout, who now plays at Shasta College, doubled to score Morris to pull the Eagles within one, before scoring himself moments later on a Landon Gomes single.
Morris also had a big game, finishing 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two runs, and got the late rally started with a lead-off double in the fifth.
Caleb Ruiz continued his impressive run at the plate with a third straight multi-hit game, finishing 2-for-3 and driving in his 10th run in three games.
Lane Thrap got the win on the mound, pitching three strong shutout innings in relief.
Thrap allowed just one hit, while striking out three and walking no one.
Bode Joyner got the start and was solid for 3.2 innings, allowing three runs — all in the top of the fourth — on four hits and six walks, while striking out four.
Bode struck out the one batter he faced in relief before giving way to Thrap.
Eagles 3, Team Australia 0
Morris and Gorge remained hot at the plate in game two, as the Eagles shut out the visitors to improve to 10-1.
Both players finished 1-for-3, including a third double on the day by Morris, as the Eagles were held to just three hits in the win.
Cameron Saso also was 1-for-3 with a double and had his team’s only RBI.
Three Eagles pitches combined for the shutout, with starter CJ Van Meter getting the win.
The former South Fork standout tossed 4.1 innings, while allowing five hits and one walk and striking out four.
Branson Gans also pitched well in relief, allowing one hit in 1.1 innings and striking out one.
Saso closed out a big day for him and the Eagles with three strikeouts in the final inning.