Wildcats clinch second in L4; Warriors push them all the way

File photo – Ferndale’s Austin Michael

The Ferndale Wildcats closed out the Little 4 with a pair of wins over Hoopa on Tuesday, as they get set to open the Charlie Lakin Tournament on Wednesday.

The Cats won 5-2 and 6-5, but had to battle hard against a Warriors team that pushed them all the way in their league finale.

Ferndale opened up a quick 6-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning in game two, only to see the Warriors rally to score five unanswered runs to pull within one.

The Wildcats, however, were able to hold on, and they closed out league play in second place with a record of 7-5.

Austin Michael got the win in game one, throwing 2.1 hitless innings, as head coach Justin Andersen used several pitchers briefly throughout the day, with eyes on having all of them available for the Lakin tournament.

Jonah Anderson also saw action in game one, pitching 4.2 strong innings, while Michael was 2-for-2 at the plate with two runs and two RBIs.

Teammate Kannon Christiansen was 2-for-3 with a pair of triples, two RBIs and a rum.

Paden Prior pitched 1.2 shutout innings for the win in game two and also was 2-for-4 with a run, while Trent Titus was 1-for-2 with a run and an RBI, and Mattias Alejandre was 1-for-4 with a run.

Perry Short also had an impact at the plate and finished 1-for-3 with two RBIs.

Hoopa closed out league play 0-12, but first-year head coach Joe O’Rourke saw plenty of positives and improvement from his young team.

File photo

“They all came a long way this season,” he said. “I’m really proud of them.”

Kagan Renteria made some big plays for Hoopa at third base on Tuesday, while Brian Gulley had a triple and also made some big catches in center field.

Freshman Brandon Romero added a triple, while sophomore pitcher Steven Hatter looked good on the mound and continues to develop as a team ace.

“These guys all did great,” the head coach said. “They worked hard every day.

“I just wish the season was a little longer. It’s like we are just starting to warm up. I’m really looking forward to next year.”

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