Panthers, Warriors split high-scoring Big 5 doubleheader

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Action from Saturday’s second game at McKinleyville High.

The McKinleyville Panthers and Del Norte Warriors split a high-scoring Big 5 doubleheader at Mack High on Saturday, with the visitors taking game one 15-12 and the home team bouncing back to win game two 11-8.

Playing in windy conditions, the two league rivals combined for 46 runs on 47 hits, including four home runs, three of them in game two.

Del Norte’s Ethan Thomas and McKinleyville’s Bryce Sargent both had huge days at the plate, including four hits each in game one.

Thomas was 4-for-4 with a home run and two doubles, six RBIs and five runs in game one, while also pitching five innings for the win on the mound.

He added another hit in game two.

Sargent, meanwhile, had six hits on the day, including a double in each game, as well as driving in five runs and scoring four.

Brody Mattz also had a big day for the Warriors and finished with four hits — including a home run in game two — and six RBIs,  while teammate Cole Blackburn had a pair of hits in each game.

Del Norte’s Jared Dixon had three hits on the day, including a home run and a double in game two, while William Bommelyn and Issac Arriola each had two hits in the opener.

The win in game one was the first in league for the Warriors, who are now 1-5 inn the Big 5 and 4-7 overall.

The Panthers, who also won in Crescent City on Wednesday, took the three-game series and improved to 2-4 in league and 8-7 overall.

Evan Fraser

Brody Mattz

“I thought our pitching and hitting was pretty solid,” Mack head coach Scott St. John said. “But we were kind of lacks defensively in the first game and I think that cost us.”

Riley Bates took the loss on the mound in game one, but pitched well, according to his coach, with his defense committing five errors.

“Riley Bates had a great day,” St. John said. “I thought he pitched better than the stat line would indicate, and in the second game he hit the ball well.”

Bates was 3-for-4 in game two with a double, two RBIs and three runs.

Teammate Evan Fraser got the win on the mound, allowing five hits and four walks in six innings and striking out three.

“Evan Fraser pitched six really strong innings,” the head coach said.

Mattz took the loss for Del Norte.

McKinleyville’s Austin Brown also had a good day at the plate and had four hits, including a double and three RBIs in the opener, while teammate Logan Maher finished with three hits over the two games, including a home run and two RBIs in the nightcap.

Tenoch Tapia also had three hits for Mack, including a double, while Kolbey Stolpe had a hit in each game and Tyson Bragg and Riles Egbert each had a hit in game two.

Aidan Rice added two hits for Del Norte and Eddie Velazquez and Tyler Starcher each had one.

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