The McKinleyville Panthers put a disappointing opening week in league play decisively behind them on Wednesday, shutting out Del Norte 8-0 in Crescent City.
The Panthers scored three runs in the top of the first inning to take control and pulled away with five more in the fifth as they improved to 1-3 in the Big 5 and 7-6 overall.
The early lead was all pitcher Brayden Craven and his defense would need, with the senior in control and holding the Del Norte bats to just three base hits all day.
Craven threw all seven innings for the win, allowing one walk and striking out five.
Seven different Panthers accounted for nine hits, including Austin Brown who was 2-for-3 with a double, two runs and an RBI.
Bryce Sargent also had two hits and scored twice, while Riley Bates and Logan Maher both had a hit and two RBIs.
Jack Saso, Tenoch Tapia and Riley Egbert each also had a hit.
Freshman Aidan Rice had a big day for Del Norte and finished with two of his team’s three hits.
Senior Jared Dixon also had a hit for the Warriors, who dropped to 0-4 in league play and 3-6 overall.
The two teams will close out a three-game series at McKinleyville on Saturday, with first pitch set for 11 a.m.