By Ray Hamill — The Charlie Lakin Tournament will make a welcome return this week for the first time in three years.
After being canceled because of the pandemic in each of the past two season, the H-DNL’s annual baseball and softball postseason tourneys will begin on Wednesday and run through Saturday, with both championship games set for Saturday evening.
The baseball tournament will take place at the Arcata Ball Park, while the softball tournament will take place just a few blocks away at the Arcata Sports Complex.
Saturday’s championship games will be staggered — softball at 5 p.m. and baseball at 7 p.m. — to allow fans to attend both games.
The Big 5 championships in both sports have yet to be decided, with several make-up games on Tuesday, which will determine the schedule for the tournament’s opening day.
In baseball, if the Arcata Tigers win their final two league games at Del Norte, they will be crowned co-champions along with Eureka and will receive a No. 1 seed for this week’s tournament courtesy of a better head-to-head record in league play against the Loggers.
If the Tigers lose either of their final two league games, however, then the Loggers will be outright league champs and will receive a No. 1 seed for the tournament, along with Little 4 champion St. Bernard’s.
The top seeds will each have an opening-round bye.
The baseball tournament gets under way with two games on Wednesday. Little 4 No. 2 seed Ferndale will play Big 5 No. 3 seed Fortuna at 4 p.m., followed by either Eureka or Arcata and Little 4 No. 3 seed South Fork at 7 p.m.
In Thursday’s semifinals, the winner of the Fortuna/Ferndale game will play the Big 5 No. 1 seed at 4 p.m., followed by St. Bernard’s and the winner of Wednesday’s second game at 7 p.m.
In softball, meanwhile, the Big 5 title is still not determined, but the Eureka girls are guaranteed to be co-champs at least and will receive the No. 1 seed for this week’s tournament courtesy of a better head-to-head league record against the McKinleyville Panthers.
The action gets under way on Wednesday at 5 p.m., when Little 4 No. 2 seed South Fork plays Big 5 No. 3 seed Del Norte, followed by Big 5 No. 2 McKinleyville and Little 4 No. 3 St. Bernard’s at 7 p.m.
On Thursday, Eureka will play either South Fork or Del Norte in the first semifinal at 5, followed by Little 4 No. 1 seed Hoopa and either McKinleyville or St. Bernard’s at 7 p.m.
No games will be played on Friday in either tournament.
The league wants to remind spectators that only H-DNL and NCS passes will be honored for this week’s tournaments and not school passes.
Admission prices will be the same as for regular season games — $6 and $3.