Caleb Ruiz, pitcher for St. Bernard’s, commands the mound during his team’s 1-0 win over Ferndale, Tuesday afternoon at Bomber Field (Redwood Acres). (Jose Quezada — For the Times-Standard)

Caleb Ruiz struck out 19 and the St. Bernard’s baseball team edged out Ferndale 1-0 in what was the Little 4 Conference opener for both clubs, Tuesday night at Bomber Field (Redwood Acres).

Tuesday’s pitching dual between Ruiz and Ferndale’s Landon Gomes stayed scoreless for three-and-a-half innings until St. Bernard’s freshman Braedan Zimmerman found his way across home plate on a pass ball. Zimmerman put himself in position for what would end up as the evening’s only run by stealing second base and then advancing to third on a pass ball.

Ruiz has started at pitcher and picked up wins in both of St. Bernard’s (1-0, 2-0) outings this season. On Tuesday the senior went nearly the full seven innings, giving up just two hits while throwing 111 pitches in six-and-two-thirds innings of service before Bode Joyner came in to deliver the evening’s final out. Gomes, although on the losing side of Tuesday’s game, allowed a mere three hits over six innings of work while delivering six strikeouts of his own.

“Ruiz has been brilliant,” St. Bernard’s head coach Matt Tomlin said. “He put in a lot of work during the off-season to prepare for his senior year and it has showed. He had complete control of his curve ball (Tuesday night) and his fastball was explosive, hitting 87-88 MPH all game.”

Ayden Hamanaka, Lane Thrap and Cayden Lee each had one hit in the win for St. Bernard’s. Jenner Christiansen and Austin Hughes each had one hit for Ferndale (0-1, 1-2) in the loss.

“Obviously you never want to lose a league game on an error, but overall both pitchers, two of the top guys in our league, threw extremely well,” Ferndale head coach Justin Anderson said. “It’s a matchup I’m sure we’ll see again this season.”

Up next

St. Bernard’s will head to Fort Bragg on Friday for a tournament while Ferndale will take a week off before heading down to Susanville on March 21 to take on Lassen in a tournament game.

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