Ayala, Eagles enjoy big opening day in tourney play

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Cole Ayala is greeted by teammates after hitting his second home run of the game against Portland Red on Thursday.

Cole Ayala hit a pair of home runs to lead the Humboldt Eagles 19Us to a 12-2 win over Portland Red in their own tournament opener at Bomber Field on Thursday afternoon, and he followed that with a strong outing for the victory on the mound in a 14-4 win over the NorCal Nationals later in the day.

The soon-to-be Fortuna senior is enjoying an outstanding summer with the club and that is showing no sign of slowing down.

Ayala drove in five runs in the tourney opener and he would go on to strike out eight in the nightcap, while also remaining hot at the plate and finishing 2-for-3 with a double.

Alexander Sorenson also had a big day, pitching all five innings for the win against Portland Red and allowing just two runs on five hits and striking out three.

Nick Parker finished 2-for-2 with a triple in that game and Alex Gorge was 1-for-2 with a pair of RBIs.

Against the NorCals, Parker Rodgers was 2-for-2 with a double and three RBIs, while Jared Dixon was 1-for-3 with two RBIs and Jeran Ford 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.

In other tournament action on Thursday, in the 19U bracket Portland Red bounced back to defeat the Dirtbags 8-5 and Portland Black got the better of the Pioneers 4-1.

In the 17U bracket, the Northern Humboldt Steelheads defeated the Southern Humboldt 76ers 12-0, the Humboldt Eagles defeated the Pioneers 5-1 and Lassen got the better of the Northern Humboldt Giants 4-3.

The four-day tournament continues on Friday.

Alexander Sorenson delivers a pitch on Thursday.

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