By Ray Hamill — With their backs to the wall, the Arcata Tigers came out swinging.
Playing a key Big 5 doubleheader against unbeaten league leaders Eureka at the Bear River sports complex on Saturday, the Arcata boys won both games by scores of 9-0 and 5-1 to keep their championship hopes alive.
With the wins, the Tigers improved to 8-2 in the Big 5 and they can now clinch a share of the league title with victories in their final two game at Del Norte early next week.
The two defeats were the first in league play for the Loggers, who got the better of Arcata 4-1 on Wednesday to clinch at least a share of the league title.
The Eureka boys close out league play 10-2 and are now 14-10 overall.
Arcata senior Vincent Agliolo dominated on the mound again and pitched a complete game for the win in the opener, giving up just one hit, while teammate Finn McRae was equally effective in game two, allowing just three hits.
“Ags and Finn really set the tone for us,” head coach Troy Ghisetti said. “We kept them off balance and came up with some big hits.”
Will Mager also helped set the tone and had a big day at the plate, including hitting aa two-run home run with two outs in the first inning of game one to get the party started.
The Tigers led 3-0 going into the bottom of the fifth, when they doubled the advantage to take control of the game.
Wilson led off the fifth with a single and would score moments later on a Mager base hit, before Mager scored himself on an Agliolo double.
The Tigers would add three more runs in the sixth on five hits, including a two-RBI Mager double.
Agliolo struck out 10 and walked just three on the way to the win, while impressive freshman Wilson Medina was 3-for-3 and Miles Oliver 2-for-3.
Rogan Bode had a double for the Loggers’ only hit of the game, while teammate Cole Zeller also had two hits in game two.
Arcata senior Nick Parker also hit a key home run in game two, while teammate Noah Waterhouse had an RBI double and Finn Warner got his first varsity hit.
Noah York, Agliolo and Gorge each also had a hit in the win, as the Tigers improved to 19-3 overall,
The Tigers will now turn their attention to Del Norte, with the games likely to be played on either Monday or Tuesday, depending on the weather and field conditions.
And Ghisetti is taking nothing for granted with the league title up for grabs.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do,” the Arcata coach said. “We cannot overlook what Del Norte will bring.”
Saturday’s scheduled doubleheader between the McKinleville Panthers and Huskies at Fortuna was postponed, with no make-up date yet finalized.