American Legion

Ayala playing well beyond his years, as several Eagles impress

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File photo – Cole Ayala had a big week for the Humboldt Eagles at the Northern California Country Classic.

Fortuna’s Cole Ayala may be the youngest player on this year’s Humboldt Eagles 19U team, but you wouldn’t know it from the way he’s playing.

The Huskies standout was one of several players to impress for the county all-star squad this week on the way to helping his team win the Northern California Country Classic. 

And the occasion certainly wasn’t too big for the 14-year-old catcher, who came up clutch to drive in what would turn out to be the winning run in a pivotal showdown against a previously unbeaten Reno team on Saturday.

“He’s doing good things for a 14-year-old,” Eagles head coach Matt Tomlin said. “He’s shown he belongs at this level.”

And he’s doing so on both sides of the plate, working well on Saturday with pitcher Merek Sears, who held the Reno bats to just three hits, while striking out eight and walking no one.

“The two of them worked very well together today,” Tomlin said afterwards.

Ayala wasn’t the only local player to impress at the weekend tournament, as the Eagles swept all five of their games, improving to 23-4 on the summer.

Caleb Ruiz is enjoying an outstanding season both on the mound and at the plate, and that continued this week, while the ever-reliable duo of Jaden Gorge and Landon Gomes came up with numerous clutch hits over the three days.

“These kids are playing great baseball right now against very good competition,” Tomlin said of his team.

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