By Mark Lourenzo
The Southern Humboldt 76ers will be the No. 1 seed for this week's American Legion 17 years and under, District 1 Tournament, to be played out Thursday through the weekend. The 76ers went through the regular season schedule unbeaten in league play and will be the favorites to take home the title. However, they will have to do so on the road, as the tournament takes place on Northern Humboldt's home field, McKinleyville High School. The three other teams will also have plenty to say before a champion is crowned as host Northern Humboldt will field the Knights and the Tigers, while Southern Humboldt will showcase the Patriots in addition to the 76ers.
The stage was set for an exciting tournament last weekend as Southern Humboldt hosted their own tourney, the Knights as well as the Chico Suns Red were in attendance. More like a round robin with only three teams, it was a busy weekend as everyone got four games in the two day event. The Southern Humboldt 76ers started the weekend off with a bang as they dominated the Northern Humboldt Knights in the opener 16-3. Fortuna's Myles Borgelin was the winning pitcher with a complete game performance. Daniel Teasley went 3 for 4 at the plate with a triple and a run batted in.
Sixer Cade McNamara drove in 3 runs with his bases loaded triple and Ryan Ayers drove in a pair of runs in going 2 for 4 with a double. Kokko Figuiredo and Troy Langley set the table for the 76ers as each hit a single, drew two walks and each scored three runs. Southern Humboldt came back out for the Saturday afternoon game and kept their high level of play with a 11-1 win over the Chico Suns Red. Daniel Teasley was the winning pitcher in a mercy run, shortened game as his five innings of work featured 5 strikeouts while allowing just 5 hits by the opponents.
That game started off quietly as the Sixers held a 1-0 lead after two innings of play. Myles Borgelin and Jacob Reid provided RBI hits in the third frame that pushed the 76er lead to 4-0. The Suns starting pitcher Tommy Angel limited the damage at four runs, -- that is, until he tired in the fifth inning and the Sixer offense expanded their lead on Chico's relief pitching. Borgelin finished 3 for 4 at the plate, his 2 RBI double ended the game. Cole Moody, Troy Langley and Jacob Reid each smacked two hits, including Moody's bases loaded, 3 RBI double that caused the most damage.
Meanwhile, the Northern Humboldt Knights rebounded from their Saturday morning loss to the 76ers with an exciting 4-3 win over the Chico Suns Red team. The winning run was scored on a bases loaded walk in the Knights final at bat. Sunday morning saw the Knights repeat the result in less dramatic fashion as the topped the Chico team once more by a 6-0 score. Winning pitcher was Northern Humboldt's Jordan Smith in a lights out performance.
Chico's weekend ended 0-4 as they were again shut out by the Southern Humboldt 76ers, final score read 10-0. Sixer Riley Jones was the starting and winning pitcher as he threw a complete 6 inning game with 6 strikeouts. Kokko Figuiredo and Troy Langley each rapped two hits, each with a double and run scored. Daniel Teasley, Jacob Reid and Colton Stokesberry each got two hits with an RBI and runs scored. Ryan Ayers helped set the table with his two walks and two runs scored.
The final game of the weekend did not go as well for the 76ers as they lost to Northern Humboldt 12-6. Dylan Lourenzo was the starting pitcher and took the loss however, the Sixer defense let down and 5 runs proved to be unearned in the contest. The Knights pitchers Jordan Smith and Hunter Ervin did not have such issues and they combined in keeping the 76er offense at bay. Knights batting was led by a 4 for 4 effort from Michael Lefuel and the Sixers were led by Cole Moody's 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs production. "There were a lot of positive things to take from the weekend, but the boys have to remember that's also a good team over in the other dugout," said Sixer head coach Kellen Maynard. The weekends results certainly set the stage for this coming weekend's District 1 Tournament Championship.
Little League Section Playoffs: Out of town results were called in from the Eel River 11-year-old All Stars in attendance at the Little League Section Playoffs in Marysville. Eel River won their tournament opening game 14-9 over Central Chico. A home run by Nolan O'Kelly was the big blow in that contest. Eel River followed up with a 11-6 win over East Redding the very next day. JoJo McGinnis blasted a home run to help propel his team to the championship round. So Eel River was set to play for the section championship as we go to press. The 14 year old Babe Ruth All Stars from ERV were not so lucky over at the Northern California State Tournament in Woodland. The team lost 11-1 versus Alameda and 20-3 against East Sacramento and were eliminated from the playoffs. "The team had a great experience and played on a field with a lot of history to it," said head coach Shiloh Viggers.
Photos by Mark Lourenzo/Beacon
1. Northern Humboldt Knights baserunner Conner Rowland is tagged out by Southern Humboldt 76er second baseman Cade McNamara as shortstop Daniel Teasley backs up on the play on July 11 in Fortuna.
2. Southern Humboldt 76er Jacob Reid has a bead on a high fastball as the Sixers hosted a round robin tournament with the Northern Humboldt Knights and the Chico Suns Red over the weekend.