By Ray Hamill — Congratulations to the Fortuna Huskies, who ended a 48-year championship drought in baseball by winning the Big 5 this week.
After clinching at least a share of the championship on Wednesday, the Huskies secured it outright in a dramatic showdown with a walk-off win in the series finale on Friday.
And that makes them our Team of the Week.
One of our athletes of the week is Fortuna senior Cole Ayala, who secured the league title with a walk-off home run and more.
Ayala has played at an MVP level this spring and was hugely instrumental in Friday’s win, as the Huskies battled back from a late four-run deficit in exciting fashion.
Ayala helped tie the game in the bottom of the sixth with a three-run home run, before completing a thrilling comeback the following inning.
All in all, it’s been a memorable season so far for the Huskies and they’re not done yet.
Fortuna opens the Charlie Lakin tournament on Thursday and will get to host at least one game in the North Coast Section playoffs the following week.
Rounding out our Athletes of the Week is a former St. Bernard’s Crusader who has taken her obvious athletic ability to Chico State.
On Saturday, Josie Peterson placed first in the women’s javelin at the CCAA track and field championships in San Marcos.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Fortuna Baseball, Senior
It’s safe to say Ayala will remember his final high school regular-season at-bats.
The Huskies standout has been outstanding at the plate for his team this spring, but saved his biggest moment for last with a pair of league-clinching home runs in his final two at-bats.
For more on his big week, see Fortuna Huskies seal the deal in thrilling fashion …
Chico State Track and Field, Sophomore
The 2020 St. Bernard’s graduate has enjoyed incredible success in the javelin since first taking up the event as a freshman at College of the Redwoods last year.
On Saturday, she beat out some of the best Division-II athletes on the West Coast on her way to victory at the CCAA championships with a throw of 138’9”.
For more on Peterson’s big weekend, see Peterson crowned CCAA champ in the javelin …
TEAM OF THE WEEK
The Huskies are Big 5 champs in baseball and that’s not something we say every year.
Ending a near half-century championship drought was impressive enough, but the manner in which they did it is something Fortuna sports fans will talk about, well, for the next half century.
Congratulations to head coach Max Betts and his players, including Cody Collins, who also has played at an MVP level for the team this spring.
For more on their big week, see Fortuna Huskies seal the deal in thrilling fashion …