A very young Humboldt Eagles 17U American Legion baseball squad has taken its bumps this season, but there is plenty of reason for optimism.
On Wednesday, the Eagles came from six runs down to post their fifth win of the summer and turned in their most impressive performance so far in a 10-9 walk-off win over a Portland travel team.
“Our last game was probably our best,” head coach Pat Spellmeyer said. “It was a confidence booster for the kids.”
This summer’s squad is very young with just two players above the age of 15.
But the players have been showing signs of improvement.
“We’re playing with a lot of 14 and 15 year olds and they’re getting better, they’re learning,” Spellmeyer said. “They’re getting more disciplined at the plate, and in the field we’re getting better at avoiding the big innings that plagued us earlier in the summer.”
In particular, Mateo Gutierrez has been impressive at the plate recently, finishing 4-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs in Wednesday’s win.
Matt Letter, who along with Gutierrez has been switching between the Eagles 17U and 19U teams this season, also has been impressive, finishing 2-for-4 with three runs scored in the win.
More importantly, Letter scored on a passed ball in the bottom of seventh to secure the walk-off win.
Cooper Ohlsen has also impressed so far this summer and has been the team’s most consistent pitcher, according to Spellmeyer.
Robert Williams started on the mound on Thursday and went 4.1 innings, with Sebastian Standish throwing 2.3 innings in relief and getting the win.
On Friday, the Eagles fell 16-4 to NorCal, dropping to 5-22 on the season.
Tyler Maples and Michael Jewell each had a triple, while Gutierrez and Williams each had two hits.