American Legion

‘Electric’ pitching leads the way for impressive Eagles 19U


Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Caleb Ruiz is one of several Eagles pitchers to impress this summer.

By Ray Hamill — This summer the Humboldt Eagles 19Us have been playing well in all aspects of the game, but their pitching has most definitely led the way.

The Eagles don’t have an ace. They have several of them, not to mention a loaded bullpen.

“Our pitching has been absolutely outstanding,” head coach Matt Tomlin said. “The pitchers have just been electric.”

That pitching will be put to the test once again this week, as the Eagles travel to play at the Northern California Country Classic in Yreka and Medford.

But Tomlin and his staff have several stars they can call on with confidence, including their three leading aces so far this summer, Nick Dugan, Caleb Ruiz and Cameron Saso.

Ruiz and Saso each already has thrown a no-hitter.

Merek Sears, who will join the Washington State program this fall, also has been outstanding as a starter, while soon-to-be Eureka High senior Hayden Bode has been close to shut-down effective as the team’s closer.


Nick Dugan delivers a pitch.

But it’s not just the top arms that have been contributing, with Tomlin getting tremendous consistency from the rest of the staff, which has played a pivotal role in leading the team to an 18-4 record.

“We have seven or eight very good arms we feel are college caliber,” Tomlin said. 

Including Dugan, who will be a junior at St. Bernard’s this fall and has already committed to play at Stanford after graduation.

Several others have also impressed, including Jaden Gorge, Branson Gans, Landon Gomes, Lane Thrap, Bode Joyner, Corbin Eichin, Ethan Fischel, and up-and-coming Fortuna standout Cole Ayala.


Bode Joyner

For now games remain on hold locally and are not expected to get the go-ahead until closer to the end of the month.

The Eagles open the four-day weekend tournament against Medford at Medford at 6 p.m. on Thursday, and will travel along with the Humboldt Eagles 17Us, who open at Yreka at 5:30 p.m., also on Thursday.

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