Ea­gles sweep sea­sonopen­ing slate

Times Standard (Eureka) - - FRONT PAGE - By An­drew But­ler abut­ler@times-stan­dard.com @But­ler_on­sports on Twit­ter

The Hum­boldt Ea­gles 19-Un­der pushed their sea­son-open­ing win streak to seven games af­ter play­ing a packed sched­ule which fea­tured dou­ble-head­ers Fri­day, Satur­day and Sun­day and a sin­gle game Mon­day.

The Ea­gles won con­vinc­ingly six out of the seven times, but it was a lead-tak­ing 2RBI triple off the bat of Lan­don Gomes which broke open a close con­test and proved to be the high­light of the week’s se­v­engame slate.

The hit came Satur­day af­ter­noon. The Ea­gles and vis­it­ing Fol­som were tied 1-1 in the bot­tom of the sixth in­ning when Gomes sent a shot down the right-field line, send­ing Caleb Ruiz and Ethan Fis­chel home. The hit proved to be the dif­fer­ence in what was the lone close call the Ea­gles had all week as the home team hung on for a 3-2 win. The Ea­gles took game one 4-1 and won both con­tests Sun­day by scores of 10-0 and 5-1.

On Fri­day the Ea­gles bested the vis­it­ing NorCal Na­tion­als out of Red­ding 5-0 and 12-2. On Mon­day the Ea­gles topped off a dom­i­nate re­turn to play with an 8-1 win over vis­it­ing Fort Bragg.

Pitch­ing high­lights

Cameron Saso, who in his lone out­ing for McKin­leyville be­fore the 2020 sea­son was ef­fec­tively can­celed threw a no-hit­ter, picked right back up where he left off. On Sun­day Saso pitched a six-in­ning no-hit­ter in a 10-0 win over Fol­som. He struck out 13 and was two walks away from a per­fect out­ing.

In the night cap Sun­day Bran­son Gans struck out 13 and gave up one hit and no earned runs over 5.2 in­nings in a 5-1 win against Fol­som.

On Thurs­day Caleb Ruiz recorded 13 strike­outs and sur­ren­dered one hit in a 5-0 win over Nor-Cal.

On Satur­day Stanford com­mit Nick Du­gan gave up noth­ing mi­nus a cou­ple first-in­ning walks over 4.1 in­nings. He struck out 5 in the start, a 4-1 win over Fol­som.

Bode Joyner started the sea­son with bang on Thurs­day, go­ing 3-for-4 with three RBIs and one run scored in a 12-2 win against Nor-Cal.

On Mon­day Ruiz went 3-for-4 with three RBIs in the win over Fort Bragg.

On Satur­day Jaden Gorge sup­plied three hits and two RBIs in the 4-1 win against Fol­som.

To play or not to play

The Ea­gles be­gan play­ing games last week along with sev­eral other lo­cal sum­mer travel base­ball teams.

The games go against var­i­ous coro­n­avirus-re­lated or­ders from the state man­dat­ing use of face masks in all pub­lic, ban­ning team sports and re­strict­ing the num­ber of peo­ple that can gather in a pub­lic area.

Ea­gles board pres­i­dent Alan Fis­chel told the Times-Stan­dard the Ea­gles con­sider them­selves more of a recre­ation club, like a hik­ing or kayak­ing group, which are al­lowed to func­tion un­der re­cent re­vi­sions to shel­ter-in-place or­ders from the county.

On Mon­day Hum­boldt County Health Of­fi­cer Teresa Frankovich said dur­ing a me­dia avail­abil­ity ses­sion, “When you bring to­gether kids who are prac­tic­ing for base­ball, that is not a sta­ble co­hort of kids…if you bring an­other team into the mix, that adds a whole other group of chil­dren, and, if you bring in an­other team that has trav­eled from some­where else, you bring into that mix what­ever con­di­tions are in that area po­ten­tially as well…My de­sire in all of this is not to have chil­dren out of sports, but to do so safely…The state has made it clear, with ques­tion­ing, that (team sports) are not to op­er­ate un­til of­fi­cial guid­ance has been re­leased on this, and we have not re­ceived it.

“It should not be op­er­at­ing now, in spite of the fact that I rec­og­nize, ap­par­ently it is,” Dr. Frankovich said. “I have con­cerns about its safety.”

On Tues­day the county an­nounced that nearly all busi­ness sec­tors, in­clud­ing gyms, movie the­aters, bars and fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment cen­ters can re­open with ap­proval from the Hum­boldt County Emer­gency Op­er­a­tions Cen­ter.

Ap­proval is met by sub­mit­ting a plan to the op­er­a­tions cen­ter. The Ea­gles or­ga­ni­za­tion has sub­mit­ted a plan and is await­ing a de­ci­sion to be made.

Lo­cal law en­force­ment has yet to in­ter­vene in the games. Eu­reka and Ar­cata Po­lice Chiefs Steve Wat­son and Brian Ahearn both told the Times-Stan­dard last week that they have no plans to shut down games. The Sher­iff’s Of­fice has yet to re­spond.

The vast ma­jor­ity of games played this sum­mer will fall into one of the three afore­men­tioned ju­ris­dic­tions.

AN­DREW BUT­LER — TIMES-STAN­DARD

Nick Du­gan started Satur­day’s open­ing game against Fol­som and struck out five en route to his first win of the sum­mer.

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