By Ray Hamill — It’s been a challenging start to the high school baseball season for the Eureka Loggers, but that should stand to them in the coming weeks when the Big 5 rolls around.
The Eureka boys are 1-5, but they have played four quality teams that all have winning records and head coach Jeff Giacomini likes a lot of what he’s seen from a very young Eureka roster.
“Our record does not reflect the amount of progress or potential this team has this year,” he said.
The Loggers graduated 11 seniors from last year and have just three on this year’s roster, but the team does feature some of the best players on the North Coast, including Jackson Giacone and Myles Standish.
“Jackson is doing a great job for us,” the head coach said of the senior standout. “We’re trying our best to put him in a position to lead the team and drive in some runs.”
Giacone, who has committed to play at Cal State Fullerton after graduation, was one of the top talents in the H-DNL as a junior and is expected to be even better this year, while Standish is a junior left-handed pitcher who is already getting some serious looks from collegiate programs, including a handful of D-I teams.
Another junior, Rogan Bode, is also expected to play a key role this year and has started the new season in impressive fashion despite making a big move.
“Rogan Bode was one of our best infielders last season and we’ve had to move him to catcher,” Giacomini said. “And he has stepped up and is doing a fantastic job back there for us.”
Big things are also expected out of senior Richard Reeves, who Giacomini describes as the team’s most improved player this year.
“He’s worked his butt off and we’re really happy with what he’s been able to do,” Giacomini said of the talented infielder.
Among the younger players on the roster, sophomore Cooper Ohlsen has also impressed early and has the team’s only win on the mound, an 8-2 victory over Novato.
“He beat a very good Novato team,” Giacomini said.
Multi-talented junior Caden Vance will also see time on the mound this year — as well as in the infield — and has begun the new campaign as impressively as he closed out the basketball season, while senior Connor Ames is also expected to be a key presence and will see some time behind the plate.
“This year is my biggest challenge as a coach because we’re so young,” Giacomini said. “And some guys have really, really stepped up and we have been continually getting better.”
Former Humboldt B52s standout Tommy Gale, who led the local summer club in home runs in each of the past two seasons, is an assistant coach with the Eureka team this year and Giacomini is delighted to have him on board.
“I could’t be happier with what he’s brought to the team,” the head coach said.
As for the Big 5, Giacomini expects Arcata to be the team to beat, but he is confident his players can compete.
“We’re just really young this year, but we’re making some serious strides,” he said. “We’re going to be ready for league.
“I think it’s going to be a great year for the league. It’s going to be whoever shows up and whoever gets hot at the right time will come out on the right side of this thing.”
The Loggers will continue a tough preseason when they travel to play Foothill in a doubleheader on Friday and won’t play at home until league play rolls around at the end of the month.
The Loggers will play their home games this year at Bomber Field across from the Redwood Acres.