The Arcata Tigers set themselves up for next week’s key series against Eureka with a fourth win in a row on Friday afternoon, winning 5-1 at St. Bernard’s.
The game was scoreless through five innings, with both starters on the mound pitching well, particularly Arcata’s Merick Sears.
But the Tigers broke the deadlock with two runs in the top of the sixth and added three more in the seventh on a bases-clearing double by freshman Alex Gorge.
Mason Trapkus added three hits for the Tigers, who improved to 18-2 on the season.
Sears struck out 10 in six innings work for the win, allowing no earned runs.
Arcata got the breakthrough in the sixth when Mason Trapkus scored on an infield error after singling to reach base and advancing on a fielder’s choice.
Damien Sheldon then laid down a perfect bunt single to load the bases, before a two-out walk to Xavier Finegan scored the second run.
Caleb Ruiz came in to relieve starter Logan Petrusha early in the inning for St. Bernard’s and made a great diving throw to get the lead-off runner at third base after fielding a ground ball.
Petrusha pitched five solid innings before tiring, allowing seven hits.
Vincent Agliolo, Finegan, Gorge and Sheldon each finished with two hits for the Tigers, while Trapkus, Sears and Brian Ford each had one.
Senior shortstop Jaden Gorge made a spectacular leaping catch on a Ruiz line drive in the bottom of the fourth.
Ruiz and Hunter Davis got the only two SB hits.
With the loss, their third in the past four games, the Crusaders drop to 13-6.
They remain 6-2 in the Little 4, with a key doubleheader on Saturday at home to South Fork, which is also 6-2 in league.
Arcata returns to the Big 5 for a huge showdown at home to Eureka on Wednesday.