American Legion

Eagles coach expects tough competition at annual tournament

Photos by Ray Hamill/

By Ray Hamill — Eagles 19U head coach Matt Tomlin knows his team will be in for a challenge this week, as they get set to open their annual tournament on Thursday.

The four-day tournament will feature a total of 16 teams — in 19U and 17U brackets — playing 40 games, including five local teams and 11 from out of the area.

Two of the top teams in the 19U bracket will face off on opening day, when the host club plays Australia No. 1, a touring team of international players coached by former Humboldt Crab Steve Fish.

The Eugene Challengers are also expected to contend for the tournament championship and they come to Eureka with an impressive record of 29-2.

“There are some really good teams in the tournament,” said Eagles head coach Matt Tomlin, who described the Challengers as “very dominant.”

Tomlin also got a close look at the Australia touring team on Tuesday, when the Eagles lost 13-3 in six innings in non-tournament action, although the host team was saving most of its pitchers for this weekend.

“Australia No. 1 looks really good,” Tomlin said. “Every kid on their team is college committed.”

The international touring club will have four teams competing in the tournament, three in the 19U division and one in the 17U bracket.

All 48 of their players will be housed in the St. Bernard’s dorms for the week, with the local high school stepping up to lend a helping hand.

Tournament games will also be played at Crusader Field, as well as at Belotti Field across from the Redwood Acres and at the Redwood Fields in Cutten.

Tournament action gets under way at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, with games starting at 9 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Click here for a full tournament schedule …

Humboldt’s Rogan Bode


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