For the third time in as many years, St. Bernard’s baseball reigns as Little 4 Conference champs.

A pair of wins on the road at Hoopa Valley by scores of 10-0 and 10-1 did the trick for the Crusaders, who have claimed a Little 4 crown in each of head coach Matt Tomlin’s three seasons at the helm.

The coach gave all the credit to his kids following the wins.

“I’m just very proud of our kids, they’re playing great right now,” Tomlin said. “We faced some very strong competition in league this season. Both Ferndale and South Fork have outstanding pitching.”

Three Crusaders pitchers, Caleb Ruiz, Brody Tomlin and Taholo Vainuku-Johnson, combined to deliver a no-hitter and 11 total strikeouts in the game one win. For the freshman Brody, who had one strikeout and a walk with no hits in two innings of work, it was his first varsity action.

In game two four Crusaders pitchers, Logan and Cole Petrusha, Bode Joyner and Lane Thrap, combined to throw a one-hitter with 15 total strikeouts for the unit.

Hitting wise Joyner, Thrap, Ruiz and Hunter Davis each had two hits in the game one win. Ruiz and Davis both had two RBIs in the win as well.

In game two the bat of Davis led the way once again. Davis went 2-for-3 in the win with two RBIs and a run scored. Peyton Smith, a freshman, went 1-for-5 with a pair of RBIs and Cole Petrusha, 2-for-2 with two RBIs.

St. Bernard’s (9-3, 16-8) was able to clinch an outright Little 4 title thanks to Ferndale, which beat South Fork 8-6 in the latter game of Thursday’s doubleheader in Miranda. If South Fork had swept, the two would be co-champions.

St. Bernard’s, the No. 1 seed from the Little 4 Conference entering next week’s Charles Lakin Humboldt-Del Norte League Tournament, will face the winner of the No. 2 Big 5 versus No. 3 Little 4 matchup on Thursday.

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