Huskies hold on to edge the Panthers in high-scoring showdown

File photo – Fortuna’s Cody Collins finished 3-for-4 with two doubles in a 10-9 win at McKinleyville on Wednesday.

The Fortuna Huskies held on late to edge the Panthers 10-9 in a high-scoring Big 5 baseball showdown at McKinleyville on Wednesday.

Trailing by five runs heading into the bottom of the seventh, the home team rallied to score four runs and had runners at first and second with two outs when Fortuna pitcher Matt Letter picked off the lead runner to end the game and a five-game losing streak for the Huskies.

Cole Ayala pitched five strong innings for the win, as the visitors opened up a 10-4 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth.

Ayala gave up four runs on six hits and struck out one, while also finishing 2-for-4 with a solo home in the top of the first.

Teammate Cody Collins led the way at the plate and finished 3-for-4 with two doubles, while Troy Bugbee and Rylan Lommori both had two hits, including a double each.

Daniel Osborne also had two hits for the Huskies, who had 10 players combine for 16 hits, while Cole Victorine was 1-for-2 with a double.

Letter, Cody Sauers, Drew Franklin and Rogan Gans each also had a hit in the win, as the Huskies improved to 5-5 in the Big 5 and 12-8 overall.

The Panthers led 2-1 after three innings but the visitors scored five runs in the fourth to take control.

Tenoch Tapia led the way at the plate for the home team and finished 3-for-5, while Logan Maher was 2-for-4 with a double, Cody Lackey was 2-for-3 and Bryce Sargent was 2-for-5.

Kolbey Stolpe added a double and Riley Bates had a base hit to round out an 11-hit team performance.

With the loss, the Panthers dropped to 2-8 in the Big 5 and 9-13 overall.

The two teams will close out a three-game series and the regular season with a doubleheader at Fortuna on Saturday.

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