American Legion

Northern Humboldt Giants rally to secure District championship

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Ethan Thomas delivers a pitch during Thursday’s championship game.

The Northern Humboldt Giants 17Us were crowned District American Legion champions on Thursday evening with a 5-3 win over the Humboldt Eagles at the Redwood Fields in Cutten.

And once again they did it the hard way, battling back from a tournament opening loss to win three straight elimination games, similar to how they won the Eagles tournament last week.

Cole Blackburn got the win on the mound on Thursday, pitching four strong innings in relief and allowing just one run while striking out six.

Ethan Thomas got the start for the Giants and pitched three solid innings, allowing just two runs and striking out three.

Designated hitter Ben Lukens led the way at the plate and finished 3-for-4, while William Bommelyn, Miles Oliver, Finn Warner, Ty Ghisetti and Seth Valliere each also had a hit.

The Eagles were led by Jorge Lopez-Cortes, who finished 2-for 3 to cap an impressive week in tournament play.

“We just couldn’t quite overcome the walks we gave up that preceded their timely hitting,” Eagles head coach Kennan Snipes said. “All in all, we looked great most of the time, it’s just those couple of innings where we find ourselves overwhelmed and making mistakes.”

Cody Collins finished 1-for-2 with a double a walk and an RBI; Rogan Gans was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI; Tyler Schlesiger was 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI; and Sebastian Standish was 1-for-3.

Schlesiger, according to his coach, has shown significant improvement over the past couple of weeks.

Gans got there start on the mound, allowing seven hits in five innings and striking out four, with Miles Sorenson pitching two innings of one-hit ball in relief.

The Giants won back-to-back games on Wednesday  to set up Thursday’s championship showdown, defeating the Southern Humboldt 76ers 12-2 and the Eagles 5-3.

The young Joe Tanno continued to impress on the mound against the 76ers, allowing just two runs in a complete-game performance and striking out five.

Oliver also had a good day on the mound, pitching six strong innings against the Eagles and striking out seven, before Thomas came in to seal the win.

Another young player also had a big week for the District champions, with catcher Mateo Reiman continuing to perform beyond his years behind the plate.

Several Eagles players, meanwhile, also impressed earlier in the week.

Collins provided the offensive highlight of the game in a 15-5 win over the 76ers on Tuesday, finishing 2-for-3 with a grand slam and a double and five RBIs.

Cole Zeller also continued to impress and finished 3-for-3.

Collins was walked intentionally twice against the Giants in Tuesday’s big win, while Drew Franklin was 3-for-3 with a double and two TBIs and Tyler Maples finished 2-for-2 with two walks and four RBIs.

Submitted photo

Leave a Reply