The Eureka Loggers clinched at least a share of the Big 5 championship in baseball with a 4-1 win over the Arcata Tigers at Bomber Field in Eureka on Wednesday.
The Loggers scored four runs in the first two innings and made the early lead stick, as they remained unbeaten in league play and improved to 10-0 with two games remaining.
The Tigers, who dropped to 6-2 in the Big 5, can still be crowned co-champs if they sweep a doubleheader at home to the Loggers on Saturday and win two make-up games at Del Norte on Monday.
The Eureka boys came out swinging and took a quick three-run lead with the help of two monster home runs.
Jackson Giacone led off the game with a blast to center field, and after Rogan Bode reached base on a hit-by-pitch, Myles Standish then hit a two-run blast to right field for a 3-0 lead.
“Those two set the tone, and that was the difference maker,” head coach Jeff Giacomini said of the early homers. “We put pressure on Arcata to have to score.”
Standish also got the win on the mound, his seventh of the season.
The Loggers ace threw six innings, allowing just three hits and a walk and striking out 12 of the 23 batters he faced.
The junior also had two hits and scored twice.
Caden Vance also continued to impress for the league leaders and finished 3-for-3 with an RBI, while Bode added a hit and two runs and Cole Zeller and Richard Reeves each also had a hit.
The Loggers, who have won 12 of their last 13 games, are now 14-8 overall, while the Tigers are 17-3.
“The entire team impressed me, how we came together and took care of the baseball when we needed to,” Giacomini said. “And our ability to hit with runners in scoring position.”
Will Mager, Alex Gorge, Nick Parker and Finn McRae each had a hit for the Tigers, with Parker pitching a complete game for the loss on the mound.
“They took advantage of a couple of balls that were left up, and they hit it hard,” Arcata head coach Troy Ghisetti said of the Loggers. “And Standish was outstanding.”
The Loggers still need one more win against the Tigers to win the Big 5 outright and guarantee themselves a top seed for the Charlie Lakin tournament and a home game for the North Coast Section playoffs.
“We’re going to get after it tomorrow and Friday,” Giacomini said. “We know what we need to work on. (Arcata) plays good baseball. We don’t take them lightly. We were just lucky enough to get those runs early and we pitched pretty good and we were able to hold on.”
Saturday’s doubleheader will take place at McKinleyville High with first pitch set for 11 a.m., although that could change depending on the weather.