The fans who showed up at the Arcata Ball Park on Thursday night were treated to a pitching classic in the all-Eureka Charlie Lakin Tournament semifinal between the Loggers and St. Bernard’s Crusaders.
Four top-class pitchers combined to strike out 36 batters, including Eureka’s Myles Standish, who was sensational once again and finished with 18 strikeouts in a 1-0 win.
Standish, who pitched all seven innings and allowed just one hit, has been in phenomenal form all season long, including throwing a recent 47-pitch no-hitter against Fortuna.
And his head coach believes he’s getting even better.
“I’m really kind of lost for words,” Eureka head coach Jeff Giacomini said after the game. “I’ve never seen anybody dominate at the high school level the way he did tonight.
“I mean, striking out 18 (of the 21 outs), that’s video game numbers, and just to watch him compete … his tempo was great, his composure was great, and he just absolutely led the way. (St. Bernard’s) only put three balls in play.”
What made the performance even more remarkable is that it came against a very good and experienced St. Bernard’s team that is 21-4 on the season, and a Crusaders team that had beaten Eureka earlier in the season.
The Crusaders pitching, however, was equally effective, with Aidan Dorsch, Nick Dugan and Tyler Dimmick combining to match Standish with 18 strikeouts.
All but six of the 42 outs in the entire game came on a strikeout.
“It was just dominating pitching,” said St. Bernard’s head coach Matt Tomlin, who described Standish as “outstanding.”
The only run of the night came on an error in the top of the second inning.
And it was scored by Standish.
Cayden Lee had the Crusader’s only hit of the night, while Ean Savage and Caden Vance had the Loggers’ only two hits.
Dorsch pitched the first three innings for St. Bernard’s and struck out six while allowing just one hit, before being relieved by Dugan, who threw three hitless innings and struck out nine.
Dimmick closed out the game and performing just as effectively as the other three aces on the night, allowing one hit and striking out three.
“It was the pitching duel of a lifetime,” is how Giacomini described it, adding of Standish, “to do what he did against those guys was absolutely remarkable.”
The win lifts the Loggers to 16-9 and sets up a Saturday night championship game against the Arcata Tigers, who rallied to beat Fortuna 6-4 in Thursday’s other semifinal.
The Tigers and Loggers are co-champs of the Big 5, and the weekend championship game will also serve as a playoff to decide which of them gets the league’s automatic North Coast Section qualification.
First pitch is set for 7 p.m.
The Crusaders will now turn their attention to the NCS playoffs, where they will be overwhelming favorites to win the Division-VI bracket and expected to compete for a state championship.
“It was a tough loss to take, but we’re 21-4 and our goal is to win a state championship and that hasn’t changed,” Tomlin said.