The Arcata Tigers and St. Bernard’s Crusaders each kept their impressive start to the season going with a pair of victories at the 32-team American Christian Academy tournament on Thursday.
The Tigers improved to 7-0 with the sweep, while the Crusaders have been almost as good, with six wins now in their seven games.
Ferndale also made the trip to Redding, splitting two games on the opening day.
The Wildcats fell 14-4 to Lassen in their opener, before responding with a 12-4 win over Anderson, with pitcher Austin Hughes throwing a complete game for the win.
The Cats, who are 2-3, continue tournament play on Friday.
In the Little 4, meanwhile, the South Fork Cubs moved to the top of the standings with a doubleheader sweep at Hoopa Valley.
Arcata 6, Colusa 0
Arcata 15, Etna 1
The Tigers remained red hot and kept their unbeaten start to the season going with a pair of wins to open tourney play.
Pitchers Merek Sears and Asher Meadows combined to give up just one hit in 12 innings over the two games.
In the opener, the Tigers scored five runs in the fifth to break open a tight game against a good Colusa side.
And that was more than enough for Sears, who has been impressive through the early season.
“I thought he commanded the strike zone, inside and out,” Arcata head coach Troy Ghisetti said.
Sears allowed just two hits in seven innings, while striking out 10 and walking one.
At the plate, the Tigers got contributions from several players, with six different bats accounting for seven hits.
Mason Trapkus was 2-for-4, while Porter Price, Vincent Agilio, Jaden Gorge, Mason Nichols and Damien Shelton each had a hit.
The loss was just the second on the season for Colusa (9-2).
In game two, Meadows pitched all five innings, allowing five hits and three walks, and striking out eight.
At the plate, Price, Agilio and Trapkus all continued to impress, with seven more hits between the three of them.
Agilio was 3-for-3, Trapkus was 2-for-2 with a double, and Price was 2-for-5.
Sears and Meadows each also had a hit.
“It was great because we were able to get everybody in, and everybody got an at-bat,” Ghisetti said. “That’s what the preseason is about. And our pitchers came out and threw strikes.”
St. Bernard’s 9, Willows 5
St. Bernard’s 8, Gridley 3
The Crusaders kept their impressive start to the season rolling along with two more wins at the ACA tournament.
St. Bernard’s took advantage of a pair of strong pitching performances from junior Lane Thrap and freshman Nick Dugan.
Thrap went the distance in the opener and got plenty of offensive help, with Caleb Ruiz leading the way at the plate and finishing 4-for-4 with a triple and four RBIs.
Bode Joyner, who has impressed through the early season, added three hits, including a home run and a double, while also driving in four runs.
Hunter Davis also had a home run and a pair of RBIs.
In game two, Dugan continued to look comfortable at the varsity level despite his age, striking out 14 in a complete-game victory.
He also got plenty of run support.
Thrap was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, while Joyner was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.
Another freshman, Cayden Lee, also continued to look comfortable at the varsity level, finishing 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI, while Dugan had a double and two RBIs.
South Fork 11, Hoopa Valley 1
South Fork 16 Hoopa Valley 0
The South Fork Cubs moved atop the Little 4 with a doubleheader sweep at Hoopa, improving to 2-0 in league play.
Senior CJ Van Meter pitched the win in the opener, allowing just two hits and striking out seven.
Kaydon Pogue led the Cubs at the plate, finishing 4-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs, while Tanner Curran was 3-for-3.
Cody Wyatt had a pair of doubles and an RBI, while Graham McConnell had two hits and a pair of RBIs.
Sophomore Daniel Minton pitched well early on for the Warriors, who only trailed by two after three innings.
Sonny Jarnaghan and Zak Fletcher each had a hit for Hoopa, with Jarnaghan also scoring the team’s lone run.
In game two, Cooper Scott and Van Meter each finished with four hits for South Fork, with the latter hitting two doubles and plating three runs.
Crue Contreras and Wyatt each also had two hits.
David Ruiz had the only hit for the Warriors.
Hoopa was led defensively by outfielder Kagan Renteria, who played well in both games despite a collision early.
“We battled in the first half of game one, but we have to learn to be a team and battle until the final pitch,” Hoopa head coach John Snell said. “I’m proud of this young team’s progress, but we have to learn to improve our fundamentals and stay behind each other every moment we are on the field as a team.”
Hoopa dropped to 0-5 on the season, while South Fork improved to 5-0.
Ray Hamill writes at humboldtsports.com, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.