By Ray Hamill — The top two teams in the Big 5 will face off in Friday night’s Charlie Lakin tournament final after each successfully navigated their semifinals on Thursday.
Playing at the Arcata Ball Park, the Arcata Tigers got the day’s action started with a comfortable 12-2 win in five innings over Little 4 champion St. Bernard’s, before the Huskies joined them in the decider with a 4-2 come-from-behind win over McKinleyville.
The Huskies gave up two runs in the top of the first inning, but they got on the scoreboard with all four of their runs coming in the bottom of the fifth.
And that would prove to be enough for pitcher Drew Franklin and his defense, which kept the Panthers scoreless for the final six innings.
Franklin threw 6.2 innings for the win on the mound and also made some noise at the plate, finishing 2-for-3 with a double and scoring one of his team’s runs.
Cody Collins got the rally started with a first-pitch, two-RBI single to tie the game, and moments later Rylan Lommori hit a two-RBI single to plate what would be the winning runs.
Colt Chamberlain also was 1-for-3 with a run, while Rogan Gans finished 1-for-3.
Matt Letter got the save for the Big 5 champions, pitching the final third of an inning with a strikeout.
Two young players led the Panthers at the plate.
Sophomore Bryce Sargent and freshman Pat Wilson each finished with a pair of hits in the loss, with Sargent scoring a run and Wilson driving in one.
Riles Egbert and Tyson Bragg each added a double while Kolbey Stolpe rounded out a seven-hit team performance.
Riley Bates got the start on the mound and took the loss, giving up six hits and two walks in five innings and striking out seven.
Evan Fraser threw one scoreless inning in relief.
With the win, the Huskies improved to 11-7-1 on the season, while the Panthers dropped to 14-11.
Arcata, meanwhile, scored in four of the five innings to gradually pull away from the Crusaders.
The Tigers opened up a 6-0 lead before St. Bernard’s scored two runs in the bottom of the third inning, and the Big 5 runners-up would add six more runs in the top of the fifth to end the game early.
Eight different Arcata players hit successfully in the win, including Chase Coleman, Noah York, Cedar Cline and Ty Ghisetti, each of whom finished 2-for-3.
Finn Warner also had two hits, while Will Mager finished 1-for-3 with a double and Anthony Ebert and Wilson Medina each had a hit.
“I thought we got good hitting one through nine and I thought we executed the short game very well,” Arcata head coach Troy Ghisetti said. “And the kids bought in.”
Cline pitched all five innings for the win, giving up just two earned runs on five hits and two walks and striking out nine.
Tyler Hinrichs, Tyler Dimmick, Brayden Luna, Tyson Meyer and Michael Manzi each had a hit for St. Bernard’s, with Dimmick and Tyler Maples each driving in a run.
With the win, the Tigers improved to 20-6, while the Crusaders dropped to 17-8.
Friday night’s championship game will take place at the Arcata Ball Park, with first pitch set for 7 p.m.
Categories: Arcata, baseball, Fortuna, McKinleyville, St. Bernard's
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