They had to battle for it, but the Arcata Tigers took first place at the two-day Fort Bragg tournament this week, defeating the host school 7-4 in Friday’s championship game.
Earlier in the day, the Tigers got the better of rival McKinleyville 5-4 in 10 innings to reach the championship game.
Also in tournament action on Friday, McKinleyville defeated St. Bernard’s 7-4 in the third-place game.
Arcata won all three of its tournament games to go to 3-0 on the season, while Mack was 2-1 over the two days and St. Bernard’s 1-2.
The early-season showdown between Arcata and McKinleyville was a thriller, with the Tigers battling back to tie things up late in regulation before plating two runs in the 10th on the way to the victory.
“I thought that game was a great preseason game for both teams,” Arcata head coach Troy Ghisetti said. “Both teams played tough.”
Wilson Medina hit a home run in the seventh to force the extra innings in what was a pitchers’ duel, with just seven hits combined for both teams.
Arcata’s Ben Lukens finished 1-for-4 with a double, while teammates Miles Oliver and Anthony Ebert each also had a hit in the win.
Ebert got the start on the mound and threw five innings for a no-decision while striking out six and walking two.
Oliver got the win on the mound, striking out four in five innings in relief.
Medina and Oliver both scored in the top of the 10th inning to open up a two-run lead, which the Tigers would need after the Panthers responded with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning.
“In the 10th inning, I thought we did a nice job executing,” Ghisetti said.
The Tigers had better luck at the plate in the championship game, with Ebert leading the way and finishing 2-for-3 with a home run.
Lukens also had a home run, while Ty Ghisetti finished 1-for-4 with a double.
Oliver, Will Mager and Noah York each also had a base hit in the win.
Next up, the 3-0 Tigers will play at Kelseyville on Friday.
McKinleyville pitchers shine in tournament play
Jack Saso, Kolbey Stolpe and Jackson Kelly had McKinleyville’s only hits of the game against the Tigers as the Panthers fell in extra innings to their biggest rivals.
Kelly got the start on the mound and pitched four strong innings, before Evan Fraser took over and threw six strong innings to close out.
Between them, the two Mack pitchers allowed just four hits in the 10 innings.
“They pitched good enough to win,” head coach Mike Dobrec said of the duo. “We had opportunities to win the game. We just didn’t take advantage of them.”
Ghisetti praised the work of Mack catcher Tenoch Tapia.
“He was hustling back there,” the Arcata coach said. “He did a good job behind the plate for McKinleyville.”
The Panthers, however, responded later in the day by bouncing back to beat St. Bernard’s.
Trailing 0-4 early against the Crusaders, the Panthers scored five runs in the fifth and never looked back.
Stolpe got the start on the mound, with Branson Dobrec taking over in the third inning and pitching 4.2 strong innings for the win.
Seven different McKinleyville players accounted for eight hits in the win, with Tapia going 2-for-4 to lead the way.
Cole Armstrong also had a two-RBI double to highlight the high-scoring fifth inning, while Kelly, Stolpe, Kaden Waugh, Bryce Sargent and Scott Meyer each also had a base hit.
“We played good,” Mike Dobrec said. “The first game was a tough one to lose, but the kids battled and that’s all I can ask for. They left it all on the field.
“They all played good this weekend. It was a fun tournament.”
The Panthers, who are 3-1, will play a doubleheader at University Prep on Wednesday.
Dimmick leads the way for St. Bernard’s
Tyler Dimmick continued his impressive start to the season and pitched three scoreless no-hit innings to open against McKinleyville, but the Crusaders were unable to maintain the early momentum after the standout senior left the game with a tired arm and three different relief pitchers combined to give up seven unanswered runs.
Dimmick finished with two strikeouts and also was 1-for-2 at the plate with an RBI.
Michael Manzi also continued to impress at the plate and was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs, while fellow freshman Tyler Hinrichs was 1-for-2 with an RBI.
Dimmick, Manzi and Isaiah Wolfe all were named to the all-tournament team for the 4-3 Crusaders.
Next up, St. Bernard’s hosts Del Norte on Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m.
Categories: Arcata, baseball, McKinleyville, St. Bernard's
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