By Ray Hamill — The Arcata Tigers and McKinleyville Panthers won their opening games at the Charlie Lakin baseball tournament at the Arcata ball Park on Wednesday.
The Tigers got the day’s action started with a 13-4 win over South Fork, before the Panthers held on for a 9-7 win despite a late Ferndale rally.
Both winning teams will advance to Thursday’s semifinals against this year’s league winners, with Arcata taking on St. Bernard’s at 4 p.m. and McKinleyville playing Fortuna at 7 p.m.
Arcata head coach Troy Ghisetti went deep to his lineup in the opener, as the Tigers gradually pulled away.
“It was a fun game for us,” Ghisetti said. “It allowed us to play all 17 players, and I thought our pitchers came in and did a good job.”
Noah York threw two innings in relief for the win on the mound, after Miles Oliver had pitched the opening three innings for a no-decision.
Oliver allowed just one earned run and struck out four, with Finn Warner throwing the final two innings to help seal the deal.
At the plate for the Tigers, who improved to 19-6 on the season, Wilson Medina was 2-for-3 with a triple and Will Mager was 2-for-3 with a double.
Chase Coleman also had a pair of hits in the win, while Noah York and freshman Charlie Mager each was 1-for-1.
Oliver and Cedar Cline rounded out a 10-hit team performance.
Jonah Wansick, meanwhile, continued to pitch well for South Fork.
The senior has been closing out his high school career with some strong performances and that continued on Wednesday despite the loss.
Wansick allowed just three earned runs in five innings.
The Cubs kept it close early and had their opportunities, but they left the bases loaded in the top of the fourth.
Justin Freitas led an eight-hit team performance and was 2-for-4, with additional South Fork hits from Wansick, Broc Contreras, John Harding, Makani Buck-Zulim, Wesley Way and Lucas Genolio.
Later in the the day, the Panthers also took care of businesses against Little 4 opposition, but they had to fight for it.
With sophomore pitcher Jackson Kelly and his defense pitching a shutout through five innings, the Mack bats put up runs in four of the opening five innings as they gradually took control on the way to opening up an 8-0 lead.
The Wildcats, however, rallied with seven runs in the bottom of the sixth to make for an interesting finish.
But the Panthers would add an insurance run in the top of the seventh and held on in the bottom half of the inning.
Mack senior Riley Bates and junior Tyson Bragg each had a home run, including a second-inning blast by Bragg that hit the roof of City Hall.
We’ll have more on McKinleyville and Ferndale on Thursday.
Categories: Arcata, baseball, Ferndale, McKinleyville, South Fork
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