The Fortuna bats came out swinging in a doubleheader at McKinleyville on Saturday, as the Huskies swept both games by scores of 19-2 and 19-9.
In other local baseball on Saturday, a pivotal Big 5 doubleheader between defending co-champs Arcata and Eureka was postponed and is now tentatively scheduled for Monday at Arcata, weather permitting.
In the Little 4, the South Fork Cubs and Ferndale Wildcats split a doubleheader at Ferndale.
In Arizona, the St. Bernard’s Crusaders closed out the Estrella Foothills Wolves Classic tournament with a 13-0 victory over Independence.
The Del Norte Warriors also were in action and suffered their first loss since opening day, falling 10-3 to Chico, one day after beating Las Plumas 5-4.
We’ll have much more on the Warriors, who are 5-2, on Monday.
The story of the day, however, was the Fortuna bats, with the Huskies hitting five home runs over the two games.
“You’ve got to tip your hat to Fortuna, they came out and just flat out hit the ball today,” McKinleyville head coach Mike Dobrec said. “You can’t do nothing about what Fortuna did. They hit the ball very well and everything just went their way.”
Cole Ayala hit a grand slam in game two, overturning an 8-7 deficit in the fifth inning.
The Panthers, meanwhile, did a decent job hitting the ball themselves, but just couldn’t keep pace with the red-hot Huskies bats.
Riles Egbert, one of six sophomores in the McKinleyville starting lineup, led the way at the plate in game one and finished 2-for-3 with a double, while Tyson Bragg, Tenoch Tapia, Bryce Sargent, Cole Armstrong, Jack Saso and Kolbey Stolpe each also had a hit.
The Huskies scored 10 runs in the top of the third to take control of the game, while the Panthers featured a freshman (Pat Wilson) and sophomore (Jackson Kelly) on the mound.
Game two was close and a back-and-forth affair until the fifth inning.
Stolpe finished 2-for-3 and hit a solo home run for the Panthers’ offensive highlight of the game, while Sargent and Saso each also had two hits, with Saso driving in two runs.
Bragg also had a hit and drove in two runs, while Egbert hit his second double of the day and Tapia and Riley Bates each also had a hit.
Junior Evan Fraser and sophomore Scott Meyer split time on the mound, with Fraser throwing the opening five innings.
With the losses, the Panthers dropped to 1-2 in the Big 5 and 4-3 overall, while Fortuna is now 2-1 in league and 4-5-1 overall.
Dobrec also paid tribute to the officials for helping get the games in after some doubt in the morning.
“I want to thank the officials for sticking with us today,” he said. “They worked with us and made sure we got the games in.”