NCS BASEBALL — Little 4 teams cruise in playoff openers

File photo – Mateo Gutierrez

The top two teams in the Little 4 cruised into the North Coast Section Division-6 semifinals on Wednesday to keep the hopes of an all-local championship game alive.

League champs and No. 1 seed in the bracket, St. Bernard’s, easily got the better of No. 8 Potter Valley at Crusader Field by a score of 13-1 in five innings.

The win sets up a semifinal showdown against No. 4 Point Arena at Crusader Field on Saturday at 1 p.m., after the Pirates defeated No. 8 Making Waves 8-0.

On the other side of the eight-team bracket, The No. 2 Wildcats beat No. 7 Tomales 11-0 at Ferndale.

The Cats will also host their semifinal this weekend against either No. 3 San Domenico or No. 6 Jewish Community, who played on Wednesday night.

Freshman Michael Manzi was one of three St. Bernard’s players to have three hits against Potter Valley and finished 3-for-4 with a triple, a double and two RBIs.

Teammate Tyler Maples was 3-for-3 and drove in a pair of runs, while Mateo Gutierrez was 3-for-3 with a home run, a double and four RBIs.

Gutierrez also pitched three innings for the win on the mound, as all 15 Potter Valley outs came by strikeout.

Gutierrez struck out nine and walked four, while Manzi threw one inning in relief and struck out three.

Fellow freshman Luke Brunton threw the final inning, allowing one run on two hits and a walk and striking out three.

At Ferndale, meanwhile, Levi Dixon threw a complete-game, five-inning no-hitter against Potter Valley.

Dixon struck out eight and walked two batters.

He also was one of three Ferndale players to finish with a pair of hits, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run.

Prescott Langer also had two hits, finishing 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs, while Jarett Smith was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

“We’re going in the right direction,” Ferndale head coach Justin Andersen said. “Every round is going to be a little tougher and we need to keep getting better and try to make a run at this.”

Thomas Fergison added a hit and two RBIs, while Parker Prior had a hit an RBI and two runs.

Trent Titus, Tanner Pidgeon and Austin Michel each also had a base hit.

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