Three local teams are off to a flying start in baseball and softball this season, with all three sweeping doubleheaders on Saturday to remain undefeated.
At McKinleyville High, the Panthers won their own tournament in softball, with wins over Lower Lake and St. Bernard’s to go to 5-0.
For more details on the Panthers’ big win, see Panthers take care of business at their own tournament …
In baseball, meanwhile, the McKinleyville boys also improved to 5-0 on the young season with two wins at the Fort Bragg tournament, including a 5-4 win over the host school in the championship game.
Earlier in the day, the Panthers defeated Esparto 10-0, after getting the better of Clear Lake 17-7 to open the tournament on Friday.
No stats were available from either of Saturday’s games.
Arcata baseball is also off to a 5-0 start, with a pair of wins at Kelseyville on Saturday.
For more details on the Tigers’ big day, see Arcata boys go to 5-0 with weekend sweep …
Fortuna goes 1-2 on road trip
The Huskies opened the weekend with an 11-4 win at Lower Lake on Friday night, before dropping a pair of games at Middletown on Saturday.
Senior Gabe Sandberg pitched Friday’s win, while Sheaden Kadle had a big day at the plate, finishing 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs.
Sandberg helped his own cause with two hits, including a double, and an RBI.
Garrett Aust also had a pair of hits, including a double.
“We got ahead early and played well,” Fortuna head coach Andy Olsen said. “And we limited the free passes and errors.”
On Saturday, the Huskies fell 3-1 and 9-6.
In game one, Dylan McNeil was 2-for-2 with a run scored, while Sandberg was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
In what was a pitchers’ duel, Kadle tossed six strong innings in the loss.
“He pitched a good game, all six innings, and gave us the opportunity to win,” Olsen said.
Kadle gave up four hits, while striking out three and walking just one.
Sandberg had another big game in the nightcap, hitting a three-run home run to narrow the gap to three late in the game, but it was as close as the Huskies would get.
Sandberg finished 2-for-3, while Kadle was 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
Hunter Gardner added a pinch-hit single, while McNeil was 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored.
Fortuna is now 2-4 on the season.
St. Bernard’s 7, Clear Lake 1
The Crusaders closed out the Fort Bragg tournament by defeating Clear Lake in the consolation game.
The Crusaders went 2-1 at the two-day tournament, and are now 4-1 on the season.
Lane Thrap pitched five strong innings for the win, with Logan Petrusha tossing two innings in relief and striking out five.
At the plate, senior Caleb Ruiz continued his impressive start to the season with a triple and two RBIs, while freshman Cayden Lee was 2-for-3 with an RBI, getting his first varsity hits.
Thrap and Bode Joyner were each named to the all-tournament team.
Fortuna 0, Cloverdale 12
Fortuna 0, Clear Lake 11
The Huskies dropped a pair of games at the Cloverdale tournament on Saturday, losing to the host school and to Clear Lake.
Cloverdale’s Tehya Bird, who recently starred for the Eagles in a pair of playoff basketball games at St. Bernard’s, was equally as dominating in softball, pitching a one-hitter and adding a pair of home runs at the plate.
Bird struck out nine.
In Fortuna’s second game, Jessica Bernal had a double, but the Huskies’ bats had trouble adjusting to another dominating pitcher, Shae McIntire, who changed speeds effectively and hit her spots throughout, not walking a single batter.
“We’ve got to be better, starting Monday afternoon at practice,” Fortuna head coach Eric Helms said.
Things won’t get much easier for the Huskies with road games at Cardinal Newman and Montgomery next weekend.
Ray Hamill writes at humboldtsports.com, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.