baseball

Loaded Loggers firing on all cylinders right now

Photos by Ray Hamill/HumboldtSports.com – The Eureka Loggers get ready for a game with South Fork on Tuesday.

By Ray Hamill — There is little doubt the Eureka Loggers are the team to beat in H-DNL baseball this spring, with a senior-heavy and loaded roster.

Eureka is off to a 4-0 start after sweeping a three-games series against McKinleyville last week and comfortably beating South Fork on Tuesday.

Sophomore Myles Standish leads the way on a potent rotation, while head coach Jeff Giacomini has a lineup that features arguably the top three players on the North Coast.

“We’re really excited about Keenan Morris, Jackson Giacone and Parker Rodgers,” Giacomini said. “Those guys there, they’re our one-two-three, and they’re the three best players in the league.

“We expect a lot of great things out of them, and I’ve got a lot of young guys coming up as well.”

So far so good for the Loggers, but Giacomini and his players want to face better competition.

“It really hurts us,” the head coach said of the restricted all-league schedule, with no games against out-of-area teams. “We’re a Division-III school and we’ve got a great team this year.

“And we’ve been going since February. We’ve been hitting it hard, and I really would like to see us play some better competition going forward.”

Giacomini says he has petitioned league commissioner Jack Lakin to allow them play games against Ukiah.

Jackson Giacone

As it is, the Loggers could very well go undefeated against H-DNL teams this spring.

Arcata always will be threat, while Fortuna is showing plenty of promise so far, and both of those teams have the pitching to potentially knock off the Loggers at least once.

But they’ll have their hands full.

Standish has been outstanding in the early going, pitching a no-hitter against McKinleyville in the season opener last week.

“We’re super excited about him,” Giacomini said of the sophomore talent. “He definitely has risen to the occasion and definitely earned the No. 1 spot.”

Seniors Ethan Pesch and Hayden Bode will also see plenty of action on the mound, with Connor Johnson adding to a top-notch staff.

Myles Standish delivers a pitch against South Fork

“We’ve got a good little rotation going right now,” the head coach said. 

Rodgers has been playing like an all-star on both sides of the plate, and is “an RBI machine right now,” according to Giacomini.

Giacone, meanwhile, has already verbally committed to play at Cal State Fullerton after graduation in 2022, while Morris, according to the coach, will play at Santa Rosa JC next year.

“Jackson will fit right in at Cal State Fullerton,” Giacomini said. “And it’s great for the area. He is what they’re looking for, he’s a five-tool player, and he’s a great kid.”

The coach expects big things from Morris and Giacone after their time at Eureka.

“Those guys will be playing on television some day,” he said.

Senior first baseman Brayden Youkey also has been playing at a high level this spring, as has sophomore second baseman Rogan Bode, and those two, along with Rodgers (catcher), Giacone (third base) and Morris (shortstop), give the Loggers a dynamic infield.

Eureka’s Zac Anderson, left, in action on Tuesday

Zac Anderson, Pesch and Hayden Bode man the outfield, with Johnson, Caden Vance, Alexander Sorenson and Gavin Brooks all giving their head coach plenty of options and depth.

“It’s a great group,” Giacomini said. “It’s just unfortunate we can’t add games outside the area.

“I couldn’t be happier with this group. I have all good kids. They never complain. They just love baseball. It’s definitely one of the funnest years I’ve ever had coaching.”

The Loggers don’t play again until next Wednesday when they host Del Norte.

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