Brayden Craven pitched seven strong innings and Bryce Sargent remained red-hot at the plate, as the McKinleyville Panthers opened the Shasta High baseball tournament with a 4-2 win over West Valley on Tuesday afternoon.
The in-form Craven allowed 10 hits and just two earned runs — both in the first inning — on his way to the win, which was his third of the season.
Sargent, who had six hits in a doubleheader against Del Norte on Saturday, led the way at the plate with three more hits, an RBI and a run, and also reached base after being hit by a pitch.
The Panthers got off to a quick start with two runs in the top of the first, but the Eagles answered immediately to tie things up again in the bottom half of the inning.
That, however, was all the scoring West Valley could muster, and the Panthers would go on to add two more decisive runs in the top of the fifth.
McKinleyville’s Tyson Bragg added a double and scored a run, while teammates Kolbey Stolpe and Austin Brown each also had a hit.
Lead-off hitter Tenoch Tapia scored two runs, while Brodie Sargent and Logan Maher each also drove in a run.
Shasta 17, McKinleyville 1
Later in the day, the Panthers fell to the host school in the semifinal round.
The Mack bats had five hits in the loss, one each by Bryce Sargent, Brodie Sargent, Maher, Riles Egbert and Stolpe.
The Shasta offense started fast and scored 13 runs in the first three innings to lead by 12.
Jackson Kelly pitched two innings for the Panthers and took the loss on the mound, with Brown and Scott Meyer each pitching in relief.
McKinleyville is now 9-8.