It took a little longer than anticipated, but the Arcata Tigers finally got to play an official game on their new field on Monday after several setbacks dating back to last spring.
And what a way to open the new facility.
The host school split a pivotal Big 5 doubleheader with the Eureka Loggers, edging the three-game series after also winning game one at Eureka last Wednesday.
Some sloppy defense proved costly for both teams, with the Tigers committing five errors in the opener and the Loggers finishing with four errors in game two.
Eureka took control of the game one early and opened up a six-run lead in the top of the second.
Rogan Bode led the way at the plate and was 2-for-4, while Robert Williams, Seth Grammer, Ean Savage and Michael Jewell each also had a hit.
Cooper Ohlsen got the win on the mound, pitching well for all seven innings.
The Eureka junior gave up just two earned runs on six hits and one walk, while also striking out three and getting plenty of help from his defense.
The Tigers defense, on the other hand, struggled to give pitcher Ben Lukens the support he needed.
“You can see in the Big 5, those of us who take care of the ball are going to have some success, and we did not,” head coach Troy Ghisetti said. “Ben Lukens pitched very well for us. But we couldn’t make a play.”
Arcata sophomore Anthony Ebert provided the offensive highlight of the day with a solo home run, the first ever at the new ball park, while Lukens added a double.
Miles Oliver, Finn Warner, Chase Coleman and Cedar Cline each also had a hit in the loss.
Game two was a different story, with the Tigers tightening up on defense and giving their pitchers plenty of help.
Ebert pitched four innings for the victory on the mound, striking out five and walking two, with Oliver taking over in the fifth and continuing to stifle the visiting bats with three strong innings in relief.
“Their pitcher did a great job and we just couldn’t make the plays to limit the damage,” Rodgers said.
Arcata, which allowed just two hits, took control of the game with 11 runs in the fourth.
Cline and Coleman led the way at the plate and each had two hits in the win, while Wilson Medina added a triple.
Oliver, Lukens and Warner each also had a hit, as the Tigers improved to 6-2 on the season.
“I thought we took care of the ball and put some pressure on Eureka,” Ghisetti said. “And they made some errors and we were able to take advantage of it, and our kids stepped up and swung the bats very well in the fourth to put the game away for us.”
Bode and Cole Zeller had the Loggers’ only two hits off the game.
The Loggers, who are now 1-2 in the Big 5 and 5-2 overall, will travel to McKinleyville on Wednesday, while the Tigers will have a bye in league play this week and will host Hoopa on Tuesday afternoon before traveling to play Salesian on Thursday.