Merick Sears pitched a complete game and got just enough offensive help as the Arcata Tigers got the better of Piedmont 3-1 in the North Coast Section Division-IV playoffs at the Arcata Ball Park on Wednesday.
The win for the No. 2 seeds sets up a semifinal showdown at home to No. 3 St. Patrick-St. Vincent at the Arcata Ball Park on Friday evening and keeps alive the prospect of an all-Big 5 championship showdown against No. 1 McKinleyville next week.
On Wednesday, the Panthers shut out Redwood Christian 3-0 in their quarterfinal.
Sears and the Tigers showed little ill-affects from a two-week layoff with a first-round bye and rainouts keeping them idle since losing the H-DNL tournament semifinal on May 9.
“I though that Merick after 14 days off did a nice job of spotting his fastballs,” Arcata head coach Troy Ghisetti said. “And he threw his curve ball very well.
“Merick was on top of his game. He kept them at bay.”
Mason Nichols and Jaden Gorge each had a big day at the plate for the Tigers, who improved to 21-6.
Nichols was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, while Gorge had a big RBI hit to give the Tigers a late insurance run.
“I’m really proud of our kids,” the head coach said. “We got some timely hits and I thought they did a good job of staying focused.”
Sears, Alex Gorge and Mason Trapkus each also had a hit in the win, while Sears struck out seven on the mound.
Friday’s game is set for 5 p.m.