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The Eagles-Giants rivalry is so good, it hit the state level.

In a clash of Humboldt County’s and the Area’s best American Legion 17U squads, the Humboldt Eagles held off a late Northern Humboldt Giants charge to win the state title 7-4 this afternoon in Yountville.

“We did what we set out to do! Humboldt baseball, as a whole, made a statement this weekend with our success,” Eagles coach Jason Gable said via text message. “American Legion baseball took notice. We are fortunate to have a group of young men we have been with for three years. They continue to learn and grow with each opportunity in front of them. We are very proud of their success.

“For a few this was their third trip to Yountville, falling short each previous time. Today we accomplished what we have been working towards. It was our year!”

Third time was definitely the charm for the Eagles and Humboldt County legion ball. It was the third time the Eagles matched up with the Giants in a title clash. The prior two were at the District and Area level. The Giants topped the Eagles in the District tourney while the bird soared in the Area bracket.

Gable noted after last weekend’s District win, facing the Giants makes his team better each time they play. And true to his words, the Eagles have flown by the competition ever since the loss at the Area tournament. The team went unbeaten at both District and State play and were ready for any opposition — who turned out to be none other than their county rival.

If there’s one word to define the Giants this year, it’s resilient. The team battled back from the loser’s bracket to get into the meeting with the Eagles.

The team once again showed its hardy nature for the state title as the Eagles sprinted to a 6-0 lead. Powered by Bode Joyner’s efficient outing on the bump, the Eagles bats got quickly as Zac Anderson (2-for-2, 2 RBIs, 2 stolen bases), Bode Joyner (2-3, RBI, stolen base), Ethan Pesch (1-4, RBI), Parker Rodger, 1-4, RBI, Lane Thrap 1-3, RBI, stolen base) enjoyed a productive afternoon. When Eagles got on base, they didn’t hesitate to watch for signs and snag bases.

The Giants didn’t go quietly into the night, however. The team rallied late and cut the Eagles’ advantage 6-4.

Yet, that was all the offense Northern Humboldt generated as Keenan Morris took the bump in relief and got the save in the 7-4 win.

The final showdown between the two teams — a rivalry steep with mutual respect — provides a statement to American Legion baseball: There’s quality ball hidden behind the Redwood Curtain in Humboldt County.

Box score

Humboldt Eagles 7, Northern Humboldt Giants 4

At Yountville

Pitching:

Eagles:

WP – Joyner 5 IP, 1 SO, 3 R

SV – Morris 2 IP, 1 SO, 1 R

Hitting

(Eagles) Morris 1-3, R, SB; Christiansen R, SB; Anderson 2-2, R, 2 RBI, 2 SB; Bode 1-4, R; Joyner 2-3, R, RBI, SB; Pesch 1-4, 2 R, RBI; Rodger 1-4, RBI; Thrap 1-3, RBI, SB

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