The Arcata Tigers got the new baseball season off to an impressive start with three wins in three games at the Crusader Classic over the weekend, including a big 11-1 win over St. Bernard’s in the championship game at the Bear River Sports Complex on Saturday night.
A senior-heavy and experienced Arcata team lived up to expectations on the opening weekend, but head coach Troy Ghisetti stressed there’s still plenty of work ahead for his players, not to mention some uncertainty about where they will play their home games this year.
“I thought it was a good team performance for us for our first three games, but we’ve got to go out and get better and prepare for league,” he said.
After a sluggish opening performance in a 3-2 win over University Prep on Friday morning, the Tigers picked up the level of their play in a 13-0 win over Middletown later that day and were able to carry that momentum into Saturday’s decider against the host school.
“I thought our team continued to get better after the U Prep game,” the coach said. “We had a better approach at the plate and we were able to do some things offensively throughout the three games. I thought it was a good opening weekend for us.”
Tournament MVP Vincent Agliolo finished 2-for-3 in Saturday’s win and got the offense going early with a two-out solo home run in the first inning.
Agliolo also had a double.
Nick Parker also had a big game and was named to the all-tournament team.
Parker got the win on the mound, allowing just one run on five hits in six innings, while also striking out six.
At the plate, the talented senior finished 2-for-3 with a seventh-inning home run to ice a big night for his team.
Will Mager, who was also named to the all-tournament team, was 2-for-5 with a triple, while Miles Oliver finished 2-for-4 and pitched one inning to seal the win.
Finn McRae, Alex Gorge, Isaiah Levy and Wilson Medina each also had a base hit in the win.
“Our pitchers continued to throw strikes and limited the bases on balls, and our defense played well,” Ghisetti said. “We only had three errors all weekend.”
Arcata and St. Bernard’s, who are considered by many to be the top two teams in the H-DNL this spring, will meet again on March 31 and Ghisetti says he is expecting a bigger challenge on the mound from the Crusaders, who had used their top pitchers earlier in the tournament.
Next up, the Tigers play at Hoopa on Thursday and they will have an opening-round bye in the Big 5, which gets under way next week.
The big question right now, however, is where the Tigers will play their home games this season, with the facilities at the new Arcata High sports complex still not quite complete.
The Tigers are scheduled to play their home opener against Fortuna on April 6, but Ghisetti admits he has no idea where they will play.
The coaches and players are hoping to play at their new field, but are still waiting on the official go-ahead.
“We have yet to hear from the district when we can get down there,” Ghisetti said.
With the Arcata Ball Park ruled out by the city for now, the Tigers might be forced to play their home games at Mack High.