By Ray Hamill — The Arcata Tigers will go into next week’s North Coast Section baseball playoffs with plenty of momentum after comfortably taking care of business in the Charlie Lakin Tournament championship game on Saturday night.
Playing at the Arcata Ball Park, the Tigers defeated Big 5 rival Eureka 11-2 in the decider and clinched their first-ever league and Lakin double.
The win was their third over the Loggers in eight days and their 23rd on the year, matching the team’s season-win totals from their NCS championship seasons of 2016 and 2019.
“I thought we swung the bats really well,” head coach Troy Ghisetti said. “One through nine, we had quality at-bats and our kids were able to move runners along.”
The Tigers trailed on a couple of occasions early in the game, but opened up a 5-2 lead with four runs in the bottom of the third.
And they were just getting started, adding two more runs an inning later and four more in the fifth as the game began to get away from the Loggers.
“I thought we started out with some good momentum, and after Arcata put up a few runs we just failed to really answer back,” said Eureka head coach Jeff Giacomini, who added of Arcata,“That’s a good team over there.”
Vincent Agliolo pitched 5.2 strong innings for the win and settled into the game.
The senior gave up two earned runs on four hits and four walks, while also striking out four, and did “an excellent job,” according to his coach.
He also was 2-for-4 at the plate with two doubles, while teammate Anthony Ebert was 2-for-3 with a double, Miles Oliver 2-for-4, and Will Mager 1-for-1 with a triple.
Alex Gorge pitched the final 1.1 innings to seal the win, allowing one hit and striking out two, while also finishing 1-for-2.
Nick Parker, Chet Keasey and Wilson Medina rounded out an 11-hit team performance with eight different Arcata players hitting successfully.
Rogan Bode and Caden Vance each had two hits for the Loggers, while Abel Lopez had one.
Both teams will now turn their attention towards the NCS playoffs, which get under way next week.
Arcata is expected to receive the No. 1 seed in Division IV, while Eureka should get a good seed in Division III but won’t have an automatic league berth and guaranteed home game after Saturday’s loss, which served as the league’s NCS tiebreaker.
Giacomini, however, is hopeful the Loggers will still get a home game and believes his young team has taken tremendous steps this season.
“To walk away with a co-league championship and be in the final game of the year playing for a Lakin championship, I’m super proud of my guys and how far we’ve come,” he said. “And the work we’ve put in since day one has definitely showed. Unfortunately it just didn’t go our way tonight.”
Eureka is now 16-10, while Arcata improved to 23-3.
Both teams will find out their playoff seed and opening-round opponent on Sunday.
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