H-DN teams poised for success as NCS brackets released

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – The Fortuna players react during Friday night’s Charlie Lakin championship game against Arcata.

By Ray Hamill — Just one day after completing a first-ever Big 5 and Charlie Lakin double championship for the school, the Fortuna boys received a No. 1 seed for the North Coast Section baseball playoffs on Saturday.

The postseason gets under way on Tuesday, with eight of the nine local varsity teams qualifying.

The Huskies are one of two league teams to get a top seed in their bracket and will open the Division-4 baseball tournament against No. 16 St. Helena at Newburg Park on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

Friday night’s beaten finalists and Big 5 runners-up Arcata received the No. 3 seed in the same bracket but will open on the road against No. 14 Salesian in Richmond on Wednesday at 5 p.m.

The lower-seeded Pride will host the game because they are league champions, but the Tigers should still be favored after sweeping a doubleheader at Salesian earlier this season by comfortable scores of 15-2 and 10-1.

If the Tigers win, they could face a rematch with Big 5 rival McKinleyville in the quarterfinals next weekend.

The Panthers are seeded No. 6 and will open at home against No. 11 Healdsburg on Wednesday at 5 p.m.

In the same bracket, the Del Norte Warriors are seeded No. 7 and will face No. 10 Fort Bragg in Crescent City on Wednesday at 5 p.m.

They also could face a rematch against either Mack or Arcata should they reach the semifinals of the 16-team bracket.

In the Division-3 baseball bracket, meanwhile, the Eureka Loggers received the No. 12 seed and will open on the road at No. 5 Bishop O’Dowd on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

The Arcata players rect during Friday’s game at the Arcata Ball Park.

Three Little 4 baseball teams also qualified for the playoffs, including St. Bernard’s and Ferndale, which received the top two seeds in the eight-team Division 6 bracket.

The No. 1 Crusaders will open at home against No. 8 Potter valley on Wednesday at 5 p.m., while the No. 2 Wildcats will host No. 7 Tomales, also on Wednesday at 5 p.m.

And rounding out the local contingent of playoff teams, South Fork is seeded No. 15 in Division 5 and will open on the road at No. 2 University on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

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