Senior Cody Collins continued to play at an MVP level as the Fortuna Huskies scored three early runs on the way to a 3-1 win over Eureka in Big 5 baseball on Wednesday.
With Del Norte beating Arcata 11-3 in Crescent City, the Huskies move one win clear at the top of the league standings with just two games remaining each.
The Tigers will host the Warriors in a doubleheader on Thursday, before the Huskies host Eureka in a league-concluding doubleheader on Friday.
If the Huskies sweep, they will be crowned league champions no matter what happens in the other games.
Collins has been on fire at the plate all season and that continued to be the case on Wednesday as he was 3-for-4 with a double, a run and an RBI.
Matt Letter also had a big game and was 2-for-4 with a double, a run and an RBI.
Rylan Lommori added a double as the Huskies came ready to play in such a pivotal showdown and scored a pair of runs in the top of the first, with Colt Chamberlain and Jake Houseworth each also getting a hit.
Drew Franklin pitched seven strong innings for the win on the mound, allowing seven hits and two walks and striking out six.
Senior Caden Vance had a big game for the home team on Senior Day, pitching seven strong innings and leading the offense with a pair of base hits.
Vance allowed seven hits and a walk while striking out three and was 2-for-3 at the plate while driving in his team’s only run in the bottom of the third.
Toa Ou, Rogan Bode, Ean Savage and Seth Grammer each also had a hit for the Loggers, who dropped to 3-7 in the Big 5 and 10-9 overall.
The Huskies are now 7-3 in league and 9-6-1 overall.
Up in Crescent City, meanwhile, the Warriors won their third straight game to keep their Charlie Lakin tournament hopes alive.
If they can sweep Arcata in Thursday’s series-concluding doubleheader then there will be a three-way tie for second in the Big 5.
On Senior Day in Crescent City, it was a sophomore who stole the show, with Preston Daniels outstanding on the mound for a third straight start and holding a very good Arcata lineup to just two hits in 5.2 innings.
“He’s really grown,” Del Norte head coach Brandon Coborn said of Daniels. “He’s just a sophomore but he’s got to be on the list of best pitchers in league.”
All seven seniors got some playing time, including Ethan Thomas, who as 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
Saxon Taylor and Cooper Maxwell each was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs, while Brody Mattx was 1-for-3 with two RBIs and a run and Cole Blackburn was 1-for-4 with an RBI and two runs.
Willie Bommelyn rounded out a 10-hit team performance, as the Warriors took control of the game with six runs in the bottom of the fourth.
“The middle of our order did a good job driving in runs and putting the ball in play,” Coborn said.
For Arcata, Finn Warner was 2-for-3 and Ty Ghisetti was 1-for-1 with two walks and a two-RBI single.
With the loss, the Tigers drop to 6-4 in the Big 5 and 17-5 overall, while the Warriors improved to 4-6 and 11-10-1.
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