Loggers bounce back with series-opening win at Mack

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Eureka pitcher Caden Vance got the win on the mound on Wednesday.

After dropping their league-opening series to the Arcata Tigers, the Eureka Loggers got a much-needed win at McKinleyville to keep their Big 5 hopes alive on Wednesday.

The Loggers won 5-3 and improved to 2-2 in the Big 5 and 6-2 overall.

Senior Rogan Bode and junior Cooper Ohlsen both finished with three hits to lead the offense, as the visitors opened up a late 5-1 lead with two runs in each of the fifth and seventh innings, before the home team scored twice in the bottom of the seventh.

Senior Caden Vance also was instrumental in the victory, adding two hits and pitching a complete-game five-hitter for the win on the mound.

Vance “controlled the strike zone,” according to head coach Shannon Rodgers, while walking just two batters and giving up just one earned run.

Bode, who was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a pair of doubles, hit a big two-out, two-RBI double to help secure the win.

Just two days after pitching a big win at Arcata, Ohlsen was 3-for-3 at the plate, while Vance finished 2-for-4 with an RBI.

After being called up from the JVs, freshman Jesse Vasquez made an immediate impact, scoring while pinch running for Vance.

Another freshman, Ty Crawford, added two runs, while sophomore Robert Williams rounded out a nine-hit team performance and also scored twice.

Jackson Kelly had a big game for the home team, finishing 3-for-3 at the plate, and he has become an important player for the Panthers in just his sophomore season.

Likewise with Kaden Waugh, another sophomore, who was 1-for-1 in the loss, while senior Jack Saso finished 1-for-3.

Riley Bates got the start on the mound and pitched well, holding the Loggers to just one run through the opening four innings.

Evan Fraser and Kelly each pitched in relief.

“We played decent, we just didn’t get the one big hit,” said McKinleyville head coach Mike Dobrec, whose team has now dropped three straight in league play to go to 1-3 in the B5 (4-4 overall). “They’re not falling for us right now. We’re just hitting to people.”

Kelly, however, was a notable bright spot.

“He hit the ball well today,” the head coach said. “And I think Riley threw well enough to win. He got no run support.”

The two teams are scheduled to conclude their three-game series with a doubleheader at Bomber Field in Eureka on Saturday.

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