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Giants rally to beat Lassen for tournament championship

Submitted photo – The Giants celebrate their tournament championship on Sunday.

The Northern Humboldt Giants will carry plenty of momentum into this week’s district tournament after winning the Humboldt Eagles tournament over the weekend.

The Giants responded to an opening-day loss with five straight wins to clinch the championship, including a pair of impressive victories on Sunday.

The Giants began the final day with a big 9-1 win over the Northern Humboldt Steelheads in the rivals’ first meeting of the summer.

They followed that with a 7-6 win over Lassen in the decider, avenging an earlier tournament loss to the same team.

And the Giants came ready to play on Sunday.

“I thought the kids were lights out against the Steelheads,” head coach Troy Ghisetti said. “They came focused and did a great job putting the bat on the ball.”

The showdown against Lassen was the second one-run game between the two clubs in tournament play, with the Giants rallying to overcome a late 4-1 deficit.

“They stayed focused and continued to battle the whole time,” Ghisetti said of the championship game performance. “I’m pleased with the way they’re coming along this summer.”

The Giants scored twice in the sixth to get the rally started and added four more in the top of the seventh to take the lead.

Ben Lukens got the win on the mound, pitching five strong innings in relief and striking out five.

Seth Valleire, out of Brookings, continued his impressive summer with the team and led the way at the plate, finishing 3-for-3.

Miles Oliver, Ethan Thomas and Cole Blackburn each also had two hits in the win.

Oliver got the victory on the mound against the Steelheads, allowing just two hits and two walks in a complete-game seven innings and striking out six.

Thomas, who had a big day at the plate, led the way offensively and finished 3-for-4, while fellow Del Norte Warriors Saxton Taylor and William Bommelyn both had two hits, including a double each.

Oliver also had two hits in the win, as the Giants improved to 18-8 on the summer.

Tenoch Tapia had a double for the Steelheads.

The three-team district tournament gets under way on Tuesday, with the Humboldt Eagles and Southern Humboldt 76ers facing off at 3 p.m.

The winner advances to play the top-seeded Giants at 5:30 p.m.

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